Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has welcomed 36 student teachers who have begun studying the new Irish-medium Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching - Initial Teacher Education Programme) at Marino Institute of Education.
The B.Ed. will be delivered entirely through Irish – a first for an initial teacher education degree programme for primary teachers.
Attending the induction day in Marino, Minister McHugh said: “This is an important day in the history of Irish education. It is a privilege to be with the students and wish them well in their journey to becoming teachers.”
“In a few years these young graduates will be key to instilling passion for the Irish language in school children, whether that’s in a Gaeltacht primary school or in a Gaelscoil. They will also be key to delivering all of the primary curriculum through Irish.”
“The B.Ed. also fulfils a commitment to increase the number of newly-qualified teachers who will deliver a high standard of education in Irish in primary schools. This is a significant step in the implementation of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017–2022.”
The Department of Education and Skills has committed to an investment of €5 million to enable 150 students to enrol in the Irish-medium B. Ed. programme over eight years.
Each student embarking on the degree will receive a €1,000 bursary to assist with accommodation or travel costs. In return, these students will be required to fulfil some duties in assisting the Irish Language Officer in Marino Institute of Education to promote the use of Irish amongst all of the students.
Students on the new degree programme come from Gaelcholáistí and Gaeltacht post-primary schools and also from post-primary schools where Irish is the second language.
A third of the students on the degree programme are staying in all-Irish accommodation on the Institute’s campus as part of the Marino’s Residence Scheme.
Irish will be the main language of communication amongst the students participating in the programme.
The induction day also marked the opening of the Gaeltacht Quarter (An Cheathrú Gaeltachta) in the Students’ Space in Marino Institute to afford opportunities to students in socialising through Irish.
President of Marino Institute of Education, Dr. Teresa O’Doherty, said: “Marino Institute of Education is very grateful for the funding provided by the Department of Education and Skills for this Irish-medium B. Ed Programme, a degree which will greatly benefit Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education.”