The Department of Education wants to reverse the decline in men going into the teaching profession.

Thirty years ago one third of teachers were male, now that number is less than twenty percent. Today Minister for Education Mary Hanafin launched a report aimed at trying to redress the gender imbalance in the profession. She believes a perception exists in society that teaching is a more suitable career for young women to go into, than for young men,  

The parents of a boy who might get 500 points says, you're only thinking of doing primary school teaching? 

At present there only eleven per cent of trainee teachers are male, and the absence of male role models in the classroom, at primary level in particular, is a serious problem.

The longer this trend continues, the harder it is to reverse. 

At St Aidan's CBS (Christian Brothers School) in Whitehall views on pursuing teaching as a career are mixed,  

In primary school all the teachers I had were female, so I always looked on it as a female job.

It's still seen as not having the best salary for men.

The idea of giving someone a chance in life...seeing them succeed, that's a nice idea actually.

Can the powers that be persuade more young men to go into a job at the top of the class?    

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 November 2005. The reporter is Emma O’Kelly.