HC Deb 27 July 1908 vol 193 cc836-7

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the new rules formed by the Irish Intermediate Board have yet been published; whether the teachers have at all been consulted with reference to those rules; whether under the new rules only ten marks are given for arithmetic whilst ninety marks are given for algebra, and three languages made obligatory; is he aware that there is a growing feeling in Ireland that under the present intermediate system and its treatment of commercial subjects young men cannot be equipped with the knowledge necessary to render them efficient leaders of industry; and will he take steps to provide that the tendency of the intermediate schools is more in the direction of giving boys a sound practical education, and less in the direction of making them dreamers and book-worms.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Rules for 1909 were laid upon the Table on 23rd June, but will not be published by the Intermediate Education Board until the prescribed period of forty days has expired. I am informed that I before the Rules were made, the Board received and duly considered several communications on the subject from teachers of intermediate schools. The I percentage of marks allotted to arithmetic and algebra, respectively, are in the preparatory and junior grades 30 for arithmetic and 70 for algebra, and in the middle and senior grades 10 for arithmetic and 90 for algebra. In the preparatory grade one language other than English is prescribed, and in the three higher grades two languages are necessary. I am not aware that there is any dissatisfaction with the treatment of commercial subjects by the Intermediate Education Board.