NEW teachers deserve a better pay deal, the newly appointed head of the primary teacher training college, St Patrick's Drumcondra, has said.
This could involve rewarding them for postgraduate studies, such as a master's degree, he added.
Dr Daire Keogh warned against the two-tier pay system now in place, which sees new entrants starting on about 20pc less than they would have two years ago. Dr Keogh said that he appreciated the enormity of the challenge facing Finance Minister Michael Noonan, a graduate of St Patrick's, "but I urge him to look creatively at how an alternative might be imagined".
He said it was an ambition of Education Minister Ruairi Quinn that all teachers be educated to master's degree level.
"It might be possible, therefore, to consider the introduction of new and appropriate rewards which would incentivise graduate studies and provide some return to teachers who have invested financially in their continuing professional education," he said.
The incoming president said education was critical to the health of the nation.
"St Patrick's mission is to produce creative graduates and teachers of the highest quality, who will nurture in our children the necessary skills for work, for life and for citizenship," he said.
Dr Keogh said there had been calls for the construction of new "ethical foundations" -- the absence of which in finance fuelled the economic crisis.