New education diploma well up to old standard

THE campaign against the new graduate diploma in education has been going on for some months now in the form of letters to the national newspapers.

The lack of factual content in most of these letters leads me to believe another education of sorts is required.

Perhaps you will enrol in this three-minute broadsheet lesson to learn some of the facts relating to this course.

The minimum grades for English, Irish and mathematics required for national school teaching are a minimum entry requirement for the graduate diploma in education course.

These are at least a grade C in higher level Irish, at least a grade D in mathematics (ordinary or higher level) and at least a grade C (ordinary level) or grade D (higher level) in English in the Leaving Cert or its equivalent. A primary degree is also a requirement.

Lest anyone forget, this is a graduate diploma. Applicants meeting the entry requirements will attend an interview where suitability for teaching and oral Irish are assessed. The diploma includes classroom-based teaching as well as online work.

The course duration is 18 months, including three weeks of study in the Gaeltacht. There are 14 weeks of supervised classroom teaching practice to be completed. Both Hibernia College and the Department of Education and Science will supervise and inspect the teaching practice.

There will be a module designated to special educational needs also including teaching practice. The course includes a religious studies module covering the usual subjects of study educational technology, Gaeilge, teaching methodologies, history, psychology, sociology and philosophy of education, physical education, arts education along with professional modules including the law and insurance in education and parent/teacher relationships.

The Minister for Education and Science has approved this course.

Critics who continue to refer to this diploma course as solely online are incorrect. How anyone can condemn this course as lowering the standard of education is beyond me.

I am a parent who is 100% in favour of maintaining Ireland's high education standards. I have met the requirements, passed the interview and have accepted the offer of a place on this course. More importantly, I am prepared to commit my time, effort and money to gain this qualification.

This diploma will enable me to apply for a permanent position as a primary teacher. Like many others, including those teaching without a qualification, I welcome this diploma and look forward to completing it.

Lorna O'Donovan,

Noughaval,

Doora,

Ennis,

Co Clare.

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