Thursday 22 August 2019

Opening doors: Migrant teachers helped back into classroom

Career path: One of the 34 migrant teacher graduates, Swapna Dunna, originally from India, with her son Jeshurun (5). Photo: JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Career path: One of the 34 migrant teacher graduates, Swapna Dunna, originally from India, with her son Jeshurun (5). Photo: JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

More than 30 migrant teachers from 17 countries have graduated from a groundbreaking training programme that paves a route to a job in an Irish school.

Nearly half of them have already been offered employment for September.

All 34 graduates faced obstacles to getting a job in Ireland, including a required proficiency in Irish for primary teachers, or a lack of familiarity with how the education system worked.

While the number is small, they bring diversity to the profession in Ireland. Twenty-five of the teachers are registered with the Teaching Council, which means they are recognised to work in Ireland, while the other nine are seeking registration.

The 'Being a Teacher in Ireland' programme at Marino Institute of Education (MIE) helped them to develop knowledge and confidence to teach in Irish schools.

The project was funded the Department of Justice and Equality, and the Department of Education is supporting a second programme.

Dr Rory McDaid, who, with Dr Emer Nowlan, developed and taught the programme, said research showed there were huge benefits to having a diverse teaching population - not just to children from minority backgrounds, but for all children and for all schools.

Éadaoin Kelly, principal of St Mary's Primary School, Dublin, where 88pc of pupils have English as a second language, said the skills and experience of migrant teachers would "be of interest to schools like ours".

Irish Independent

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