REPORT: "No change" to Junior Cert History status at second level 7 months ago

REPORT: "No change" to Junior Cert History status at second level

Calls have been made to restore History as a mandatory subject for secondary school students.

The placement of History as part of the second level curriculum remains uncertain, according to a leaked document.

RTÉ News has obtained a 20-page report, said to be in draft stages according to Minister for Education Joe McHugh, that doesn't advise any alteration to the subject's current optional status.

It is understood that the report does not offer any recommendations for or against the existence of History as a core Junior Certificate subject, but concedes that any changes to the existing set-up will have implications for the overall Junior Cycle framework.

Presently, schools have the ability to position history as a mandatory offering from first to third year, but there are growing fears that the subject will be unable to be accommodated, particularly with Geography being afforded similar status.

Historians and teachers have criticised the subject's downgrading, while similar calls to restore Geography as a core Junior Cert subject were made earlier this year.

President Michael D. Higgins has also expressed his support for the retention of History at secondary school level.

Minister McHugh previously called for the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCAA) to carry out the review in November.

McHugh said that the NCAA requires "time and space" to conduct its own independent review of the situation, with the report set to be discussed by its members early next month.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on Thursday, president of the History Teachers Association of Ireland Deirdre Mac Mathúna said that the campaign to restore History's status as a core subject is ongoing.

"What history has shown us is that things constantly change; ministers change, personnel changes, committees change," she began.

"We will continue with our campaign to promote our subject, to promote its value, and to hope that at some point, when new reforms and new changes come into our educational system that people will look back and see that the choices laid down in this current framework document need to be reviewed yet again."