The Teaching Council has recently recommended changes to the placement of student primary teachers in the Gaeltacht during their undergraduate programme. It is proposed that the Gaeltacht placement now be known as “Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht” and that its duration be extended to four weeks, split into two blocks of two weeks in separate academic years. It is proposed that there be a common programme delivered during this “Tréimhse” among all the Gaeltacht providers and that there be some level of assessment of learning during this period based on agreed learning outcomes.
The Gaeltacht Placement Working Group Report recommended, among other things:
- a new name for the Gaeltacht Placement – the “Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht”
- the placement duration to be extended to four weeks, to take place in two blocks of two weeks
- greater collaboration between HEIs and Gaeltacht colleges in designing courses and in monitoring student teachers’ attendance
- a common course content across all HEIs, to be adapted to cater for students of different levels of linguistic competency, with specific provision made for the needs of native and of other highly competent speakers
- assessment of student teachers’ learning during the Tréimhse based on agreed learning outcomes
- courses being delivered by primary school teachers, insofar as possible
- quality assurance of the Gaeltacht courses.
At a recent meeting of the Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection in Leinster House, Mr. Micheál Ó Gríofa, Chairperson of the Teaching Council remarked:
“We facilitated the formation of a working group comprising the colleges of education and worked with them to develop a set of protocols as to how this process should work in all programmes. This report has been circulated to the colleges, the Gaeltacht providers and the Departments of Education and Skills and Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The colleges and Gaeltacht providers are due to engage with one another to work out how this will be implemented. We look forward to seeing the fruits of those discussions soon.”