Thursday, 23 September 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Deputy Calleary is right that having a focus on the whole strategy, from infants classes right through to third level, is key. That should come before the proposals regarding the leaving certificate. The problem with what is on the table in regard to the leaving certificate examination is relatively easily to comprehend. If we are going to put in place a more challenging course that is not a second, additional course that someone can take on top of the existing Irish course and there are no bonus points available for it, why would anyone take it? That is the key question. In fact, we would be discouraging people from taking on the more challenging course. Students who have fluency in Irish and go to a Gaeltacht school or Gaelcholáiste will be discouraged from taking on more challenging work unless the course is an additional course or it offers bonus points. That is easily comprehended.
The other part of the consultation that is being lost is the potential that foundation level will be ended. There are students who find Irish difficult. If we are talking about getting rid of the foundation level examination, we are closing the door on their being able to study Irish for the leaving certificate. It is an absolutely bonkers proposal and it needs to be put in the bin straight away.