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Fine Gael call for an end to Compulsory Irish

Fine Gael call for an end to Compulsory Irish

The controversy surrounding the number of students receiving exemptions from the Irish language in Leaving Certificate Exams continues this week. Fine Gael spokesperson added fuel to the ongoing debate when he proposed his solution to the problem: removing the Irish language as a compulsory subject in the Leaving Certificate in the future.

The education spokesperson was responding to figures issued by the Department of Education which  revealed that over 1,000 students who had received exemption from the Irish exam were to sit exams in other European languages this year.

The figures reveal  he believes, “the failure of compulsion and major problems with the teaching of the national language” according to Mr Hayes.

He believes that the time has come to review the way Irish is being taught in schools and that more emphasis should be placed on teaching the spoken language in schools.

Fine Gael has previously supported a policy making Irish optional in the Leaving Cert in the past, with the proposal previously being mooted in the Fine Gael manifesto prior to the last election.

Hayes believes however that the majority of students would still choose the subject at Leaving Cert level but that  it “needs to be taught in such a way that makes it more accessible and attractive for students to voluntarily take it on as a subject. That is the heart of the matter.”

© 04 Bealtaine 2010

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