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Seanad Éireann Private Members Business
Wednesday 25 January 2017

That Seanad Éireann–

- recognises the role of history in promoting civil engagement and an understanding of the present through a knowledge of events in the past;

- recognises that public engagement and awareness of history has been enhanced following the centenary of the 1916 Rising which saw thousands of commemorative events take place all over the country;

- acknowledges the Government’s commitment  in the Programme for Partnership Government to nurture different ambitions through new subject choices, greater engagement with enterprise on future skills needs, and increased flexibility in the day to day management of schools in order to improve outcomes;

- recognises historical study as an important component in the education of students

- recognises that reform and modernisation of the junior cycle history is needed in order to align it coherently with the revised leaving certificate history syllabus;

- notes the convening, since early 2016, by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment of the History Development Group which will establish the new curriculum specification for Junior Cycle History and in particular notes its Background Paper and Brief for the Review of Junior Cycle History, September 2016;

- notes that all schools offer opportunities for historical study to all students

- notes that students studying history as a subject in the new junior cycle specification will do so for a minimum of 2 hours per week which is in most cases as good as or better than what is currently provided in terms of class contact time

- calls on the Minister for Education and Skills to consider further ways to support and promote the learning objectives of the new junior cycle history in order to inform students of their local, national and international heritage and assist in understanding the importance of the relationship between past and present;

- calls on the Minister for Education and Skills to outline the implications for junior cycle history in the context of the junior cycle reforms and the establishment of the History Development Group by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

[Senators Martin Conway, Colm Burke, Paddy Burke, Ray Butler, Jerry Buttimer, Maria Byrne, Paudie Coffey, Paul Coghlan,    Frank Feighan, Maura Hopkins, Tim Lombard, Gabrielle McFadden, Michelle Mulherin, Catherine Noone, Kieran O’Donnell, John O’Mahony, Joe O’Reilly, James Reilly, Neale Richmond]