Science is not a compulsory subject for the junior certificate, much to my astonishment. If the Minister intends to broaden the number of——
Scientific and Technological Education (Investment) Fund (Amendment) Bill, 1998: Committee and Remaining Stages.
That is on the way.
I am glad to hear it. Children's focuses are narrowed if they are not required to learn even the rudiments of science in the junior certificate. It should be a required subject if we hope to broaden their interests. I am not saying another subject should be removed. I would be happy with a large and diverse junior certificate even if it meant lowering the standards in each subject. It is better for children to do a sample of many subjects than to become too focused too soon.
On behalf of this side of the House, I thank the Minister for coming in and for the courtesy which he has shown to us. This is a very important Bill and we welcome all its implications. We look forward to the contribution it will make to the development of our economy.
I thank the Minister and would like to wish him a happy Christmas.
I thank the Senators for their contributions and wish them a peaceful and restful Christmas.