13 September, 2018 - Minister Bruton Launches New Degree for Primary Teaching through Irish

Government continues to ensure supply of teachers meets demand 

The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. today launched a new Bachelor in Education through the Medium of Irish for primary teaching in Marino Institute of Education as part of his overall plan to tackle teacher supply issues. 

The degree is level 8 on the National Qualifications Framework and is accredited by Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin and by the Teaching Council. The four year course will commence in September 2019 and will register up to 35 students a year. 

Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D. said: “I am very pleased that this initial teacher education programme will commence in September 2019. This represents an important advancement in the work which I am undertaking in increasing the number of teachers who can teach through the medium of Irish in the Gaeltacht and in the Irish-Medium sector in general.” 

“Although we are hiring more teachers now than ever before – 6,000 over the past two years, I recognise that challenges exist. Today’s announcement is one of a range of measures I am taking to address the issues that schools are seeing on the ground. Graduates of this All-Irish programme will greatly enhance the supply of primary school teachers for Gaeltacht and All-Irish schools.” 

The Minister signed an eight-year contract to the value €5.5. million for this degree for student teachers between Marino Institute of Education and the Department of Education and Skills. 

Speaking at the launch, Professor Chris Morash, Vice-Provost of Trinity College said: “We’re very pleased in Trinity College to grant accreditation to this degree and it is wonderful that our institutes are responding in such a practical way to the needs of the Irish Medium-Educational Sector”. 

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Teresa O’Doherty, President, Marino Institute of Education said: “In the Irish-Medium Sector (All-Irish and Gaeltacht schools) there is a real need for teachers with a high level of ability in Irish, who have an in depth knowledge of immersion education and the ability to teach all of the Curriculum subjects through Irish. It is a good news story, therefore, that graduates from the Bachelor in Education through the Medium of Irish will be available from September, 2023 to work in those schools. We are very much looking forward to collaborating, in this work, with the Aonad Gaeltachta in the Department of Education and Skills and with all other stakeholders – COGG (An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta), Gaeloideachas, An Foras Pátrúnachta, PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers), and, of course, principals and teachers in Gaeltacht and Irish-Medium Schools.” 

Giving an insight into the degree, she added: “This degree represents a wonderful opportunity for students who are interested in Irish to get their initial teacher education completely through the medium of Irish. Emphasis will be placed in the degree on Irish, on immersion education, on teaching all curriculum subjects through the medium of Irish and on teaching in multi-grade settings. All School Placements will be done in Gaeltacht schools and in Irish-Medium Schools. A Marketing Officer, Caoileann Ní Dhonnchadha, has been appointed to make students aware of other attractive aspects of the degree - bursaries, Bloc Gaeilge in the Institute apartments, and opportunities to use Irish as an ordinary language of communication, to mention but a few.”