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All-Irish teacher training centre essential -- Crowe

10 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has called on Minister Hanafin to stand by seven years of Government commitments and go ahead with the construction of an all-Irish teacher training centre. He was speaking following reports that Minister Hanafin is to decide soon whether the centre proposed for Cork is to proceed.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "Government approval for this centre was obtained in December 1999 and yet over seven years later the project is still stalled. The reality is that need for this kind of facility, a centre of excellence in training teachers in the Irish language, has increased over the number of years.

"We are seeing increased demand for teachers in our rapidly growing Gaelscoileanna sector and a centre like this is essential to ensure that the high standard of Irish necessary for a teacher working in one of these schools is maintained.

"Increasing numbers of qualified teachers from outside the jurisdiction are taking the Scrúdú le hAghaidh Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge (SCG) in order to become qualified to teach in Ireland and need more support to pass these exams. I would hope to see this kind of centre playing a role in that regard.

"I am calling on Minister Hanafin to stand by commitments given by this Government to the Irish language and education sectors and recognise the need for an all-Irish teacher training centre exists and is growing. It is time the Government delivered on it's promises."


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