THERE has been a 100% increase in the number of males signing up to become primary school teachers at Mary Immaculate College.
Figures obtained by the Limerick Chronicle show that 24% of MIC students on the current Bachelor of Education programme are male in comparison to 12% in 1999, representing a 100% increase in less than 15 years.
Professor Michael A Hayes, president of the college on the South Circular Road, said “it is evident that a higher percentage of males are now attracted to teaching than in previous years and here at Mary Immaculate College, Ireland’s largest college of education, we greatly welcome this gender balance.
“There has been a progressive increase in the number of males entering teaching since the launch of the report ‘Males into Primary Teaching’ by Minister Mary Hanafin in 2005,” he explained.
“More men now recognise that teaching is an attractive career which enables them to interact with children and colleagues, provides opportunities to incorporate their own special interests in their professional lives for example, sport as an extra-curricular activity in schools, and which offers a competitive salary and opportunities for career progression.”
In fact, the proportion of female students entering the two main primary teacher colleges, St Patrick’s in Drumcondra, and Mary Immaculate has been in slow decline since 2005, according to figures from the Higher Education Authority. The intake of female students fell from 87% in 2005, to 77% by the autumn of 2011.