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Oireachtas Education Committee should examine primary teacher training - Crowe

22 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has reiterated his support for a scheme to cover costs for trainee teachers, which can be up to €90 per week, over the duration of a 16 week training placement for which they receive no pay. Deputy Crowe went on to say that he has written to the Chairperson of the Oireachtas Education Committee asking for a meeting to look at this issue, in the context of an examination of primary teacher training.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "The fact that student teachers are having to fork out approximately €350 for each work placement on costs of class materials and other expenses such as travel must be highlighted. Over a three year teaching degree course, this figure would rise to over €1,400 to cover the period of teaching practice.

"During these work placements students would have very little opportunity to work outside of the classroom, leaving them with little or no income for a prolonged period of time.

"Such costs are hitting those potential teachers who are on low incomes the most, leaving them unable to provide the same teaching aids and materials better off students can afford. Trainee teachers who are struggling to meet this financial burden should be assisted by the Government.

"With well over a thousand qualified primary teachers needed in the state according to the INTO, we should be making entrance to the profession free from financial worries. This issue has been raised numerous times by the St Patrick's Drumcondra Students Union without progress and I would call on the Oireachtas Education Committee, of which I am a member, to examine this further in the hope of resolving the problem.


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