An extra 100 teaching posts for post leaving certificate courses will be provided for the coming academic year, Minister for Education Mary Hanafin announced today.
The minister said that the posts would allow for expansion in PLC programmes, which have provided a “highly successful pathway” for young school leavers.
“We need to expand and develop the role of the further and adult education sector to respond to need and we need to be more flexible in how we do that,” she told the Teachers Union of Ireland.
Addressing the TUI annual conference in Dublin, the Minister for Education and Science said that dedicated funding provision for vocational further and adult education was up €10m on 2004.
“As we increasingly move away from the concept of a job for life, the traditional view of education as being related to a defined period in our lives has been challenged. The role of the VEC sector is absolutely vital in responding to this new reality.”
Ms Hanafin also told the TUI that tackling educational disadvantage was a priority and a new inclusion policy – to be launched shortly – would involve an annual extra investment of €40m and 300 new posts across the education system.
Some of the measures to tackle disadvantage will include enhanced guidance counselling, additional funding for literacy and numeracy measures at junior level and more libraries in additional schools.
“Education is a fundamental foundation for the promotion of personal development and life opportunity,” the minister said.
The minister also said that it was important to create a positive learning environment by tackling discipline and by looking at reform of the curriculum and methods of assessment.