Yesterday, news struck that students may no longer have to study Irish at Leaving Certificate level anymore.
Mixed feelings were expressed regarding Irish as a compulsory Leaving Cert subject during a National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) review. The NCCA review regards a number of issues facing the Leaving Cert cycle, including changes to transition year and allowing more flexibility in senior cycle.
However, it was the news that Irish could be optional that sent tremors throughout the island. Incandescent rage was evident, however, there were admissions that the issue with Irish in school is how it's taught, rather than the language itself. There was also an excuse for several outlets to utilise images of Peig Sayers, inducing flashbacks of pain and misery for many.
Here's some of the reaction to the news:
We need to have a moratorium on using Peig's image next to articles about contemporary Irish language policy. Her memoir stopped being a set text on the syllabus before current LC students were born. https://t.co/c2U61IcPsV
— The Irish For 👨👧👦🎈 (@theirishfor) July 30, 2019
Using Peig Sayers's image in a newspaper article about contemporary Irish is either an indication of why younger people don't buy papers anymore, or a stunning admission that editorial teams don't want a younger audience.
— Cllr. Peter Kavanagh (@TheKavOfficial) July 31, 2019
I think as well the actual content of the Irish leaving cert is the reason why some students dislike it, rather than the language itself. Like the 20 sraith pictúir that you learn off only to be examined on one pulled randomly in the oral is going to make anyone uneasy.
— rose - still sleepy (@thewinterwasp) July 30, 2019
Totally agree but the way it’s taught needs to be looked at.
It should be almost all focused on the spoken word.
Writing essays and reading literature shouldn’t be essential for Leaving Cert.
— Julian Canny (@juliancanny) July 30, 2019
Many will disagree, but I think it's sensible to make it optional. Loads in my school had no interest, to the point one guy sat in total silence for his oral exam. Personally, I'd have preferred the chance to learn Spanish, as I've never needed Irish since the Leaving Cert.
— Conor Tierney (@JustTierney) July 31, 2019
Leaving aside the specific clickbait argument around Irish, I wonder should there be any compulsory Leaving Cert subjects? Should we not be able to give people a sufficient grounding in Irish, English, maths and a foreign language in the first 11 years of their education? https://t.co/gKj61Qqrxa
— Jack (@jackalexe) July 30, 2019