Hildegarde Naughton TD
Galway West and South Mayo
1st October 2019
Every Galway child to learn history as it is given a new special core status at Junior Cycle – Naughton
Every child in Galway will benefit from learning history after a decision was made to give it special status as a core Junior Cert subject. The move has been welcomed by local Fine Gael TD and member of the Oireachtas Education Committee, Hildegarde Naughton.
The decision confirmed by Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh means that history will no longer be an optional subject, and will be studied by all children.
Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton said that the conferral of special status on history would benefit not only schoolchildren but also society in general, as future generations of citizens and decision-makers will have greater insight into current affairs as a result of better understanding of past events.
“I expressed serious concerns about the decision to make history an optional subject in September 2018 as part of the rollout of the Junior Cycle framework, and I am very pleased that those concerns have been taken on board and acted upon,” said Deputy Naughton, who is a former teacher.
“History is an incredibly valuable subject, and one that provides students with an important perspective and understanding of the present, as well as the past. It is also key to understanding our identity, tradition and values.
“This has been recognised by Minister McHugh in his decision to give the subject special status as a core Junior Cert subject,” she added.
The decision was made after careful consideration of a review of the optional status of history under the new Framework for Junior Cycle, which was carried out by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).
Minister McHugh will now request the NCCA’s support in devising a new structure for the Junior Cycle Framework which gives history a special core status. The exact nature of what students will learn, and how, will be decided in that process.
“Young Galway students will benefit from a more rounded education as a result of this decision, and I’m grateful to Minister McHugh for acknowledging concerns and restoring the subject to its rightful status,” said Deputy Naughton.