Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Education and Skills
296. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to proposals by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment that appear to suggest a change in the Irish leaving certificate exam for students in Gaelscoileanna; if she will outline the full consultation process for such a change; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49662/21]
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is currently consulting on draft specifications for Leaving Certificate Irish. The L1 specification is aimed at students in Irish medium schools, including native speakers, and the L2 specification is aimed at students in English medium schools where Irish is taught as a second language. Schools participating in the Gaeltacht recognition scheme will be required to provide at least the L1 specification and English medium schools will have the option of providing the L1 and/or the L2 depending on the needs of students.
The NCCA is using a range of consultation techniques including an online survey, focus group and bilateral meetings, and written submissions to gather and record the experiences and perspectives of participants on all aspects of the draft specifications, including the types of learning, teaching and assessment experiences set out for students. Bi-lateral discussions, information sessions and consultative focus groups continued over the summer period with stakeholders not directly involved in school settings.
Based on stakeholder feedback to-date, stakeholder requests and given the challenging contexts in which our schools, teachers and students have been operating under due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the NCCA extended the current consultation period until the end of November 2021. The online consultation surveys will remain open until 5pm on 30 November 2021, while written submissions will also be accepted until that time. Once the consultation closes, a detailed analysis of all feedback will be conducted and an interim consultation report will be presented to NCCA Council in early 2022.
In addition to the consultation on the new draft Leaving Certificate specifications, the NCCA are undertaking an early enactment review of the new Junior Cycle Irish L1 and L2 specifications. This review will provide teachers and students with opportunities to share their insights, experiences, and views on implementing the Junior Cycle Irish specifications to-date. It is expected that the results of this review will be considered by the NCCA council in early 2022.