AROUND 400 students who arrived in the south Kerry Gaeltacht (Uíbh Ráthach), at the weekend, will give a €1 million boost to the area.
The student teachers will be taking part in a three-week course and will immerse themselves in the Irish language and culture in the local community.
The students from Hibernia College are taking the courses as part of the higher diploma in arts in primary education. Hibernia College students last year attended Gaeltacht Uíbh Ráthaigh for the first time and numbers have risen by 50 this year.
It is expected that several hundred students from the college will attend Gaeltacht Uíbh Ráthaigh each year.
Community development group Comhchoiste Ghaeltacht Uibh Ráthaigh, which was pivotal in bringing Hibernia College to the area, has more than 10 years experience working in adult education and providing language courses.
Hibernia College’s higher diploma in arts in primary education was established in 2003.
The course is delivered through a combination of online lectures and tutorials and on site sessions in centres around the country. As well as the three weeks in the Gaeltacht, students must also complete 14 weeks of classroom teaching practice.
Deputy course director Leo Kilroy said Uíbh Ráthach was chosen as a location because of the ready availability of high quality facilities and the willingness of the community to welcome and support the students, many of whom will be accompanied by their families.
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