Clare Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway has today (Monday) welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, that a review is to be undertaken as to whether History should be an optional subject at Junior Cert level.
Speaking at Fine Gael’s Árd Fheis in Dublin, Minister McHugh said: “It’s already recognised that History is generally the fifth most popular subject in the Junior Certificate examination.
“That shows the demand is there both from the teachers who attract students to the subject through their own love and passion for education and learning and by engaging the natural curiosity of students.”
Welcoming the announcement, Senator Conway commented on the need for history as a compulsory subject: “It saddens me to think that our young people will not have studied major events such as the Great Famine in the 1840s, the Land League, the 1916 Rising, the two world wars, the devastating impact of fascism in the mid-1900s, the economic war and the industrial revolution. It is my view every citizen should have a working knowledge of these historic events.
“I was delighted to hear that a review will be undertaken as to whether History should be an optional subject at Junior Cert Level. I have been calling for the reintroduction of History as a compulsory subject at Junior Cert Level since 2013 and in 2016 had Private Members Motion in the Seanad on this topic which received cross party support.
“History teaches us about the past so that we don’t make the same mistakes and it is my firm belief that the decision to make it an optional subject was a mistake and it is only right that the review takes place to rectify it.”