DCU primary teaching students call for financial aid

Fionnuala Walsh

Primary teaching students on St. Patrick’s Campus are seeking financial aid for placement from DCU.

Students from the Bachelors of Education course in St. Pat’s brought a motion to the DCU Class Rep Council looking for financial support during placement.

The petition called for the equal treatment of B.Ed students by reintroducing printing credits, or creating a new financial support system to help cover the cost of school placement.

Fourth year student Conor Lane is in his final year studying primary school teaching and brought the motion to the CRC.

“It’s already a strain on students,” Lane said. “We’re expected to pay rent and pay travel expenses and printing costs, any resources we have to pay for in school as well. That’s all coming off our own backs on top other student costs.”

A hard copy of their portfolio is a requirement of the Teaching Council, as highlighted by Vice President of Education and Placement Mathew Davey, when the topic was discussed.

“We’re told before placement that all of our placement folders have to be in hard copy, so if we have soft or digital copies of lesson plans it’s not really satisfactory,” Lane said. “If you don’t have a folder with you on the day you would fail, so you need a hardcopy of all the work that you’ve done for portfolio.

“For final years starting off it is four lesson plans a day and after that then it can be anything up to seven pages printing, you’re expected to produce all your own resources.”

Final year students can teach up to 30 children in a classroom, for two or three lessons per day. Students are encouraged to design their own worksheets for the pupils rather than use the workbooks in the school.

“That’s 95 pages printing per student per day. It’s really unsustainable for the students on top of all the other expenses such as rent and travel,” said Lane.

DCU library charge eight cent per black and white page, so printing costs for B.Ed students could amount to over seven euro per day for a semester placement.

The motion passed by majority through the Class Rep Council and will be looked into by the Students’ Union.

Fionnuala Walsh