“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is a piece of sound advice attributed to the writer and philosopher George Santayana.
Education Minister Joe McHugh would do well to remember that when he makes the final decision on whether the teaching of history should be reinstated as a core subject for the Junior Certificate.
Its downgrading was a retrograde step and Mr McHugh was right to order a review by the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NCCA) shortly after he was appointed to the role in succession to Richard Bruton.
According to RTÉ, the minister received that review last July, with the recommendation that history should remain optional. His decision to order a review, and the length of time it appears to be taking for him to bring the matter to a conclusion indicates that the he remains concerned.
Mr McHugh should trust his instincts, dismiss the advice of the NCCA and reinstate history as a core subject.
Future generations will thank him for it.