262. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the location at which children (details supplied) applied for asylum in 2018, by county in tabular form; the number that reside in direct provision centres that have access to educational, learning and developmental opportunities; and the educational level to which they have access. [25285/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): While an international protection claim is being examined, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) offer accommodation and related services to anyone without means. This includes all meals, and utilities. A weekly personal allowance is paid to each person and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection cover exceptional needs. The Department of Education and Skills provides school places for children resident in the centres and children also have access to the free pre-school scheme, the Early Childhood Care and Education programme. The HSE provides mainstreamed health services to residents. It is a whole-of-Government approach to supports and services for applicants.
Children resident in RIA-provided accommodation are educated within the mainstream education system i.e. the children of applicants for International Protection access free Primary and Post-Primary education in the same manner as the general population. They can apply for school transport under the School Transport Scheme operated by Bus Eireann on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. Education in Ireland is compulsory from age 6 to 16 or until students have completed three years of second level (post-primary) education, whichever is the later date, under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000. The Department of Education and Skills provides additional teaching and other resources to schools at primary and post-primary level to cater for the needs of pupils for whom English is not their first language.
Homework clubs are also provided at some accommodation centres designated as family centres. A quiet space is provided in family centres to facilitate children doing their homework. Children are free to engage in school based activities and other recreational facilities that are available in the locality in which they are living.
Refugee Access Programme
The City of Dublin Educational Training Board (CDETB) Refugee Access Programme RAP enables newly arrived separated children seeking International Protection and other young refugees aged 16-21 years to communicate through English to a level that will allow them to function in and integrate into Irish society. This full-time education programme covers English language, maths and life skills.
Access to Adult Literacy and English language supports
Access to adult literacy, English language and other culture supports is available to all International Protection applicants i.e. for whom English is not their first language, and is not subject to any eligibility criteria. Tuition is provided free of charge by Education and Training Boards ETBs.
The statistical data the Deputy requires is contained in the following tabular statement.
Minors Applied for International Protection 2018 DP/Non DP Breakdown
|Children residing outside accommodation centres||340|
|Children residing in accommodation centres provided by RIA||511|
Minors Applied for International Protection 2018 Place of Application
|IPO Application Centre||670|
Note: These statistics include both dependent minors and unaccompanied minors.