Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
243. Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for Education and Science his plans to include politics as an examinable subject in the secondary school curriculum; his plans to introduce politics in the second level curriculum outside of the current civic, social and political education course; the timeline for implementation of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9640/10]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): The Report of the Task Force on Active Citizenship in 2007 includes a recommendation on the development of a senior cycle programme on citizenship for schools. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has been progressing the development of a new subject “Politics and Society”, which is proposed as an optional examinable full subject in the Leaving Certificate. A draft syllabus has been developed by the Council and was published for consultation. The consultation period end in November 2009. A report on the consultation process is expected to be published shortly, and the syllabus will be revised after that in the light of the feedback. After this process has been completed, the Council’s formal proposals on the matter will be submitted to me.
It should be noted that education for citizenship is covered extensively in the curriculum for primary schools as part of Social Personal and Health Education, and History, Geography and Science. At second level, these themes are continued, and Civic Social and Political Education is a mandatory subject for all pupils in the junior cycle. It is examined in the Junior Certificate by means of a written terminal examination and an innovative action project which is designed to give students a practical experience of active citizenship.
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