How language teacher MAs could be in line for financial incentives
The Government is considering giving financial incentives for people who want to complete a language Masters, with a view to becoming school teachers.
Education Minister Richard Bruton said he would like to introduce a "straightforward subsidy" for people who are proficient in a language.
This comes as the Government announced plans to add Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese to the Leaving Certificate curriculum from 2020.
The move to expand the language capabilities of young people is necessary for a variety of reasons, including Brexit, according to the minister.
Mr Bruton said there was a "need to see a big diversity into languages that are only taught to a very limited degree at present".
Asked how he would reach a target of 25pc of schools offering two or more languages, Mr Bruton admitted that it would be a challenge.
"Doing a Masters in education is a significant investment," he said. "Clearly, it is a financial barrier for a person who has qualified in a language or indeed in one of the Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects."
Mr Bruton added: "We want to see a bigger proportion of those who have proficiency in these areas where we have a shortage of teachers attracted into languages. That is a very worthwhile area to consider - a straightforward subsidy to attract people into languages or Stem."