Question Time: Employment and Learning - 09 February 2015

During Oral Questions to the Minister of Employment and Learning he was asked questions on Homophobic Bullying and what action the further and higher education colleges are taking to eradicate this.

St Mary's University College and Ministerial Crusade was the main talking point during question time to the Minister of Employment and Learning.

Dr Farry, Minister of Employment and Learning stated that there is no crusade against St Mary's University College, although, at times, if you listen to comments from the college and other political parties, there is perhaps a crusade against me in all of this. We have to recognise that the system we have at present is not working or delivering. It is very much an artificial system, where we subsidise our teacher training, whether through an artificial figure of teachers to be trained, the premia or the expansion into non-initial teacher education (ITE) subjects. We are doing more and more to prop up a system that is not sustainable in its own right. That is why it is important that we consider reform, in the context of which we can put in place a range of models that can ensure that we protect issues around ethos, including how we can train teachers for the Irish-medium sector.

Topical qestions to the Minister included questions on the NEETs category, how many regional further education colleges have been in budgetary deficit in the past three years and for an update on the Northern Regional College new biuld.

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