I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture and Industries of Ireland whether the science teachers in England are admitted free to the summer course and their fares paid from distant parts and an allowance given for their sustenance while in London, while the Irish teachers have to pay a fee of —2 and have no allowance whatever for expenses of railway fare or sustenance; whether he is aware that about eighty Irish teachers attended the 1351 summer course last year under these circumstances, and that 158 attended in London with much greater advantages; and whether steps will be taken immediately to equalise the financial terms of Irish and English teachers attending the summer science classes.
§ MR. PLUNKETT
Summer courses for teachers in Ireland at the Royal College of Science, Dublin, were sanctioned experimentally in 1899. The courses were intended for the intermediate school teachers for whom there were previously no such facilities. The charge of £2 is made only to teachers belonging to institutions not connected with the Science and Art Department or the National Board of Education, but of the eighty-one teachers who availed themselves of the courses in 1899, only three paid this fee. Exactly the same facilities are offered to all trained teachers, qualified under the rules of the Board of Education, South Kensington, to teach science classes, in Ireland as in England. They receive railway fare, and, when coming from Ireland, first - class steamboat fare, and an allowance not exceeding £3 towards their expenses. Out of 185 teachers who attended at South Kensington last year, fourteen came from Ireland. The science teachers of England and Ireland referred to in the question are in fact on a different status. Those who come to London are trained and recognised teachers, whether English or Irish. The Irish course is, however, intended to train hitherto untrained teachers.