Thursday, 1 April 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
214. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason training for Mon tessori teachers in St. Nicholas House is not covered by the free third level fees system; the reason only part of the Montessori qualification can be achieved in VEC colleges, for example, St. Peter's, Killester; if he will examine the matter and bring equality to students studying for Montessori; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9543/99]
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): I presume the Deputy is referring to St. Nicholas' Montessori College in Dún Laoghaire. This college is not included in the list of approved colleges to which the free fees initiative applies. As the question of the non-inclusion of courses in independent colleges within the free fees initiative is at issue in the case of Patrick Jordan Junior, Patrick Jordan Senior, Raymond Kearns and Barry Acton v. the Minister for Education, Ireland and the Attorney General, I do not con sider it appropriate for me to make any statement as requested by the Deputy.
Students pursuing the two year Montessori diploma course in St. Peter's in Killester are awarded an NCVA level 2 certificate and a Montessori diploma awarded by St. Nicholas' Montessori College on successful completion of the course. This is an approved ESF-aided post-leaving certificate course and accordingly students may qualify for the award of a maintenance grant under the terms of the maintenance grants scheme for students attending post-leaving certificate courses.
The qualification awarded by St. Nicholas' Montessori College to students who successfully complete the two year course in St. Peter's is not the same as that awarded by the NCEA to students who follow the three year full-time course leading to the National Diploma in Humanities in Montessori Education in St. Nicholas Montessori College.
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