History must remain core subject at Junior Cert - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has expressed concerns following a repot received by Education Minister Joe McHugh from the NCCA recommending that history remain only an optional for junior cert students in schools, rather than being compulsory.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“Ignorance of history, whether national or international, has real consequences. It leads to poor judgement and understanding, and as we have seen sadly too often in recent years, it leads to flawed political decisions’
“This mornings reports in the media regarding the NCCA report are of extreme concern and is disappointing, despite it being unsurprising.
The Minister cannot accept it, and Sinn Féin would insist on history being a core subject.’
“History as a subject and a knowledge and understanding of history, be it globally and nationally, can only ever be considered of benefit to students.
“We’ve seen in recent years with the 1916 centenary and the events that have followed since, that an education about the past is important culturally and allows to have perspective relative to events of many years ago.
“The proposal by the NCCA that History remain downgraded, and that it be taught through ‘short courses’ is disappointing, and on a practical level, not workable. It does not give the deep understanding of history that would have existed up until now.
“An understanding of history also allows for a deeper understanding of both our culture and our heritage; and broadens perspectives for students regarding other cultures, and why many things are the way they are today.
“The downgrading of history sets a precedent that says ‘forget about the past’, when mistakes we’ve made and successes we’ve had as human beings are well documented, and are to be learned from.
“The Minister whatever his intention, should have expected when he asked the NCCA to review this, that they would arrive at this decision given their role in the junior cycle framework. He cannot accept this recommendation it is short sighted and will have real consequences”.