HC Deb 15 July 1909 vol 7 cc2417-8W

asked the Chief Secretary if he will explain why the Commissioners of National Education, Ireland, allowed only one and a half hours at the July examination for the written test for the Irish certificate and at the same time allowed two hours for such subjects as English composition and English grammar; do the Commissioners intend to extend to teachers who sat for this examination and who were non-native Irish speakers the privilege that non-native Irish speakers are not expected to speak Irish with native fluency but to show signs of having made progress in the art of conversation; had the examiner in the oral test in Irish at the Limerick Centre instructions to examine orally in Irish orthography and recitation of Irish poetry; and will the Commissioners undertake to reexamine a candidate who failed in the oral test at the Limerick Centre and who passed a creditable written paper, if that teacher underwent a course in one of the Irish colleges immediately, which would enable such teacher to teach the Irish language in national schools for the coming year on the resumption of business after the summer holidays, especially as the school year is only in its infancy?


The Commissioners of National Education inform me that the time allowed for the written test in Irish has not been changed for years, and that they consider it sufficient to enable candidates to show their knowledge of the subject. The privileges specified in the regulations for the examination of King's Scholars were allowed to candidates who were tested at the July examination. The Commissioners do not think it desirable on educational grounds to say what instructions were issued to examiners; they cannot give any undertaking such as is asked for in the question, but if any candidate feels aggrieved by anything in connection with the examination they will investigate the matter if the facts are submitted to them.