VEC warns of crisis

IT is proving difficult to recruit fully qualified teachers in certain subject areas such as Home Economics, and Art and Materials Technology, according to Co Louth VEC.

IT is proving difficult to recruit fully qualified teachers in certain subject areas such as Home Economics, and Art and Materials Technology, according to Co Louth VEC.

CEO of Co Louth VEC, Dr Pádraig Kirk, said that the situation is so critical that it is proving practically impossible to recruit teachers for some subjects.

He called on the Department of Education and Skills, and the relevant third level colleges, to urgently review the demands in the education system to ensure that there is an adequate supply of teachers at post-primary level to serve the future needs of schools.

“The quality of teaching and learning could suffer in schools without this level of planning,” he said.

Dr Kirk stated that the VEC had recently advertised to fill teaching positions in Home Economics and that only two applications were received.

“Of the two applicants that applied one was already in employment, while the other was not qualified as per criteria set down by the Teaching Council.”

Dr Kirk also claimed that there was a significant shortage of qualified French and Irish teachers in the system, as well as teachers who were qualified to teach other subjects through the medium of Irish.

Similar situations, he said, were also being experienced in some post-Leaving Certificate subject areas such as Dental Nursing and Pharmacy. Dr Kirk said that the problems in the recruitment of qualified teachers could get worse as more teachers decide to retire early.