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History’s absence as a compulsory subject to be reviewed

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A review will be undertaken to determine if history should be an option subject for the Junior Certificate.

At the Fine Gael Ard Fheis over the weekend, Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh announced he has committed to a review of the decision to remove it as a mandatory subject. “It’s already recognised that history is generally the fifth most popular subject in the Junior Certificate examination. That shows the demand is there both from the teachers who attract students to the subject through their own love and passion for education and learning and by engaging the natural curiosity of students.”

His predecessor, Richard Bruton earlier this year dropped history as a compulsory area of study from the Junior Cert curriculum which led to widespread criticism. President Michael D. Higgins and Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin were among those who expressed concern with the decision.

Clare Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway has welcomed the confirmation that a review is to be undertaken. “It saddens me to think that our young people will not have studied major events such as the Great Famine in the 1840s, the Land League, the 1916 Rising, the two world wars, the devastating impact of fascism in the mid-1900s, the economic war and the industrial revolution. It is my view every citizen should have a working knowledge of these historic events”.

“History teaches us about the past so that we don’t make the same mistakes and it is my firm belief that the decision to make it an optional subject was a mistake and it is only right that the review takes place to rectify it,” Conway concluded.

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