Teaching college plans for growing sector

 

THE LARGEST teacher training college in the State will provide the very best teachers to all the schools of the nation; Catholic, Protestant, dissenter and multi-denominational, according to its new president.

In his inauguration address , Dr Daire Keogh, president of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, also warned of the “fatal tendency” in the current climate to focus narrowly on the utility of education – and a failure to appreciate the difference between an “education society” and an “education economy”.

He noted how the college – managed by Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin – was first to offer an ethics and education course as an alternative to the denominational pathway to the bachelor of education. “We are pleased to offer a certificate in ethical and multi-denominational education in partnership with Educate Together, which addresses the needs of teachers working in, or wanting to work in the growing multi-denominational sector.”

Dr Keogh, a noted historian, said the college was determined to press ahead with plans to join with Dublin City University (DCU) and the Mater Dei in creating a new Institute of Education under the umbrella of DCU at Drumcondra. He was pleased that the Church of Ireland College of Education was also engaged in the process. He said the scale and capacity of the institute would be unequalled in Ireland and the UK.

Including all parties, the DCU institute at Drumcondra will have an academic staff of 100, 3,000 undergraduate students, 600 on masters track and 90 doctoral students. Dr Keogh also acknowledged how the college’s economic situation “will demand that we make difficult choices, but I am very conscious today of the challenges before our new graduates, faced with reduced pay scales, which have created a two-tier system within schools, and the removal of degree allowances”.

“I appreciate the enormity of the challenge facing Michael Noonan, a graduate of the college, but I urge him to look creatively at how an alternative might be imagined.”