A West Kerry Gaeltacht primary school is currently funding the provision of a third teacher, to ensure the educational needs of its pupils are adequately met.
Parents and the Bórd Bainistíochta at Scoil Naisiúnta Naomh Eirc have engaged in fundraising to provide an additional teacher at the two-teacher school.
Currently departmental guidelines stipulate 55 students are required for a third teacher – there are currently 49 pupils on the roll at the bunscoil lán Gaelach in Baile an Mhóraigh, west of Dingle.
All subjects at Scoil Naisiúnta Naomh Eirc, which is situated in the heart of the Corca Dhuibhne Gaelacht, are taught through the medium of Irish.
According to Príomhoide Áine de Londra, 49 pupils from 28 households in the locality currently attend the school.
18% of pupils at the school hail from households where only Irish is spoken while 22% come from households where Irish and English is spoken.
10% of pupils at the school come from households where Irish, English and a third language is spoken while 50% of pupils at the school hail from predominantly English speaking households.
Consequently pupils come into the school with varying levels of Irish which Áine says brings its own challenges to ensure a standard of Irish is maintained and preserved for future generations.
She says the provision of a third teacher at the school is ‘absolutely necessary’ to ensure, not only the level of Irish, but also to cover classroom subjects.
The school is calling on the Department of Education to revise its guidelines in relation to the teacher-pupil ratio, to ensure all pupils get the full benefit of their education.