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History and geography should not be downgraded in changes to Junior Cert Cycle – Deputy O’Brien

12 June, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has said he shares the concerns of many teachers that the status of history and geography will be downgraded as a result of changes that are being made to the Junior Cert Cycle.

The Cork North Central TD was speaking after attending a briefing by the History Teachers' Association of Ireland (HTEA) at today’s meeting of the Oireachtas Education Select Committee.

Deputy O’Brien said: “The Minister’s plans to reform the Junior Cert Cycle are I believe, mostly progressive but I do have concerns that the status of both history and geography will be downgraded as a consequence of these changes.

“This must not happen and at today’s briefing the HETA presented a very robust defence of history and why it is such an essential part of the school curriculum.

“It is important that Minister Quinn provides absolute clarity on the future status of history and geography as he presses ahead with implementing the reform of the Junior Cert Cycle.

“When taught as a core subject at Junior Cert Level, History promotes higher levels of literacy and it is a subject that is uniquely placed to allow students the chance to access all sorts of media as well as written documents drafted across various time periods.

“Both subjects are essential in learning about Ireland’s unique history and heritage, as well as the contribution its people have made in world affairs.

“I welcome today’s presentation by the HTEA who have made a very credible case for the retention of history as a core subject at Junior Cert Level.”
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