Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (216)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

216. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an update on his plans announced in May 2012 to introduce Chinese language and culture as an option subject for the leaving certificate; the year in which Chinese will be available to study as a subject in the leaving certificate, taking into account the increase in trade, economic and educational and cultural exchanges between Ireland, China and the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11536/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

There are a range of foreign languages available on the curriculum in schools -- French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Arabic. Chinese is not currently on the curriculum. It is not possible in the current budgetary situation to expand the range of languages available in the post primary curriculum. However, the availability of Transition Year and the option for the NCCA or others, including schools, to developed short courses proposed as part of junior cycle reform will, in the future, give opportunities for the development of additional languages, including Chinese. The NCCA is developing a short course in Chinese which should be available in schools from September 2014.