The first students from a new style of teacher training are about to start work in schools after eight weeks of pressure-cooker preparation.
Based on similar courses in England and the United States, the Teach First course trains its students while they work.
The first 16 trainees will be working in low-decile secondary schools and principals of the schools say they are confident the trainees will do well.
The Post Primary Teachers Association says it will keep an eye on the programme because it is different from the usual forms of secondary teacher training.
The two-year programme is aimed at reducing under-achievement by children from poor communities.