§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that some teachers who entered for a two years' course of training during the years 1898–1900 had, prior to their entrance, a promise of a school; whether the claims of such students were considered by the Commissioners of National Education; can he state the number of such students who were paid the initial salary of £56 per year; whether, out of twenty-nine teachers who completed a two years' course in 1900, and were appointed to schools with an average between thirty and fifty, two were paid a special salary, while twenty-seven were paid the ordinary salary; whether these twenty-seven teachers had as high qualifications as the two who got special consideration; whether the claims of these twenty-seven teachers will now be considered; and whether the National Board gave to the Commission of Inquiry a full explanation of this difference of treatment?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education have no information as regards the first paragraph of the question, but they specially considered the claims of all students in training in 1898–1900. The Commissioners are unable to state the number of such students who were paid the initial salary of £56 per year, without an exhaustive examination1262W of the office records for a long period. As I have already stated, two teachers who completed their training in 1900, and were appointed to schools with an average attendance of between thirty and fifty were, in the special circumstances of their case, paid a higher salary than £56, exclusive of residual capitation Grant, and twenty-seven such teachers were paid the ordinary salary. The claims of these twenty-seven teachers have already been considered by the Commissioners, and unless some new facts are submitted in connection with them they will not again be considered. The answer to the last paragraph of the question is in the negative.
§ Mr. MOONEY
asked the Chief Secretary whether he has received a copy of a resolution adopted by the County Down Teachers' Association wherein it is stated that no teacher outside Ireland is deprived of the rights of citizenship; whether the Irish national teachers are supposed to teach the duties of citizenship; and can he state on what educational grounds the Commissioners of National Education prevent the teachers from taking part in matters concerning the well-being of their districts?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have received the resolution referred to. As I have already informed the hon. Member, the rules of the Commissioners of National Education do not require teachers to give lessons in civic duties to school children, but in the programme for national schools it is suggested that as an alternative to the study of a special period of history a course of lessons in citizenship may be given in the highest standard of large schools. The restrictions imposed on teachers with regard to their civil rights were relaxed to a considerable extent in 1907. The Commissioners hold that general abstention of the teachers from local political quarrels has added materially to their usefulness, and they do not consider that it would be in the interests of the teachers or the schools to modify still further the rules on the subject.