§ 28. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether the reductions are to be made in the annual capitation fees paid by the Department to institutions which train teachers in subjects recognised in the Department's programme; if so, will he specify the institutions and the amount of reduction proposed in each case; whether he is aware that those institutions save the State a considerable sum annually by voluntary outlay and effort in providing qualified teachers; whether there is any British precedent for depriving such institutions of capitation fees as an economy; and whether notice of the proposed reductions has been given in the programme of the Department on which those institutions are now working?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
In consequence of the financial circumstances imposed upon them in connection with the War, the Department regret that they have been obliged to suspend temporarily the special provision for the supplementary training of teachers under Section III. of the programme for Technical Schools and Classes. Under this Section provision has hitherto been made for Grants for special classes for teachers of primary and secondary schools in experimental science, drawing, manual work, domestic economy, Irish and other subjects, and its suspension will affect forty technical schools, sixteen colleges of Irish, and eight branches of these colleges and about 100 other centres. The Department are unable to state the amount by which each school or centre will be affected, as the Grants which would have been earned would be dependent upon the number of students enrolled, the attendances of the students and the efficiency of the instruction. It is, however, estimated that during the present session the saving effected by the suspension of these Grants will amount to about £3,000. The Department have also been obliged to suspend for the coming year the summer vacation courses of instruction for teachers of primary, secondary, and technical schools hitherto conducted by them at the Royal College of Science, the Metropolitan School of Art, and the Irish Training School of Domestic Economy. The saving effected by the suspension of these courses will also amount to about £3,000. 197 The Department cannot state whether there is any British precedent for the suspension of Grants for the supplementary training of teachers as an economy. Notice was given to all existing schools and classes on the 9th instant of the suspension of Section III. of the programme for technical schools and classes as from the 29th February, 1916.