ASTI: Scope within Junior Cycle framework to see History become mandatory subject again

There is sufficient scope within the Junior Cycle framework to see History become a mandatory subject again, according to the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI).

ASTI: Scope within Junior Cycle framework to see History become mandatory subject again

There is sufficient scope within the Junior Cycle framework to see History become a mandatory subject again, according to the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI).

A yet unpublished review carried out by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) recommends that the subject remains optional following changes introduced in 2015, according to the teachers’ union.

“The calls for History to be a core subject at Junior Cycle have attracted considerable support from reputable academic figures and the public at large,” said ASTI president Deirdre Mac Donald.

“The ASTI lends its voice in full support.” She said the union is strongly of the view that there is sufficient scope with the Junior Cycle reform to create appropriate space for all subjects.

Last year, President Michael D Higgins expressed a "deep and profound concern" about History remaining an optional subject for students.

At a ceremony in Dublin Castle, he said: "Knowledge and understanding of History are intrinsic to our shared citizenship.

"To be without such knowledge is to be permanently burdened with a lack of perspective, empathy and wisdom."

The former Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn also wrote to the Minister for Education, urging him to reinstate the subject and describing its removal as "a devastating blow to knowledge and understanding".

Following much strong criticism, the NCCA was asked to review the place of History in the school curriculum by Education Minister Joe McHugh.

That review has now been completed and an advisory report has been submitted, a spokesman for Mr McHugh confirmed.

“The Minister is giving the NCCA report full consideration before making a decision," the spokesman said.

More in this section