Yesterday Leo Varadkar - tipped as the next Taoiseach of Ireland - announced his plans for Ireland in a policy document called "Taking Ireland Forward", and has suggested having PE as a Leaving Cert subject. The addition of PE would be a welcome sight for many students.
In 2013 Ireland was 3rd from the bottom of 36 European countries that provided adequate services for physical education. On average only 5% of a secondary school year is dedicated to PE and in primary schools only an hour a week.
The proposed changes to the Leaving Cert could make a massive difference for students interested in pursuing personal training courses, PE teaching courses and working in areas such as health and nutrition. It also would be hoped to have a far-reaching benefit for the health of young people in general.
The proposed introduction of a new Leaving Cert subject was not the only idea Varadkar has that will benefit students in secondary and third level education. Other proposals he plans to implement include:
- Changing the 8th amendment to take into account opposing views on the issue of abortion.
- Restoring autonomy to universities that do not require state funding.
- Improvements for public transport in rural areas.
- Establishing new visas, bursaries, and programmes to allow Irish students to travel and work abroad.
- Allowing Irish citizens to vote in Presidential elections abroad.
- Preparing for the possibility of a United Ireland in our lifetime.
What do you make of Varakars proposals? Do you think PE would be beneficial for students in secondary education?