There is still time to turn a potential disaster into a fantastic opportunity
Irish language, Gaeltacht and Student bodies are calling on the Taoiseach, Minister for Education and other politicians to ensure that the current proposals from the NCCA for Irish leaving cert specifications, which are currently under consultation, are rejected and that the opportunity that this consultation presents is grasped to ensure real reform that adequately delivers for students, as set out in a discussion document launched today.
Irish language, Gaeltacht and Student bodies launched a discussion document today, Wednesday, 3rd of November 2021, at 1pm. outside Leinster House prepared by Áine Hyland and Fíona Uí Uiginn which responds to the Senior Cycle Draft Irish Specifications L1 and L2 published for consultation by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) on 23 February 2021.
Fíona Uí Uiginn, one of the authors of the discussion document said:
“The current NCCA proposals have caused a huge amount of confusion, worry and anger amongst many students, parents, teachers and others both within and outside of the Gaeltacht and Irish medium education. We believe that there is an opportunity here to turn this potential disaster into a fantastic opportunity which could result in a fairer system for Irish at leaving cert that caters for all students, from native speakers to students with learning difficulties. Surely this should be the goal of the educational system.“
Áine Hyland, the other author of the report said:
“Our report sets out clearly the difficulties and problems that are associated with the current new specifications proposed by the NCCA for consultation and we believe that the L1/L2 system they are proposing should be set aside. Not only that, but we have suggested two methods to ensure real reform that adequately delivers for students. These new suggestions include an Advanced Level for Irish at leaving cert with additional CAO points for students who choose it, as this level would be more challenging than the Higher Level. The alternative suggestion that we are proposing is to have two Irish subjects for leaving cert, one which all students would study and would be based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), and one that would be a choice subject like applied maths that would focus on literature, accuracy, etc. Both of our suggestions envisage retaining but reforming Foundation Level to cater for students that this level is suitable for, instead of abolishing this level which is what is included in the NCCA consultative proposals”.
Julian de Spáinn, general Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said:
“The groups involved in commissioning this discussion document are calling on the Taoiseach, Minister for Education and other politicians to get involved in this consultation to ensure that the current proposals from the NCCA for Irish leaving cert specifications, which are under consultation at the moment, are rejected and the opportunity that this consultation presents is grasped. ”
The NCCA consultation is open till the 30th of November and we are encouraging as many people as possible to take part in this hugely important consultation.
Both the authors of the report, Fíona Uí Uiginn and Áine Hyland, Shane Ó Coinn, Chairperson of An Gréasán do Mhúinteoirí Gaeilge and the General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge Julian de Spáinn will address the Oireachtas Committee on the Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Irish-speaking Community also at 13.30 on Wednesday, 3rd of November about this discussion document and the recommendations contained within.
Julian de Spáinn,
Note for Editor:
The discussion document responding to the Senior Cycle Draft Irish Specifications L1 and L2 published for consultation by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on
23 February 2021 can be found at this link: shorturl.at/dxDUX
The document was prepared by Áine Hyland and Fíona Uí Uiginn for an Education Committee co-ordinated by Conradh na Gaeilge. Additional info on the authors:
Áine Hyland , Ph.D., D.Litt. (Hc), D.Sc. (hc), MRIA, Emerita Professor of Education and former Vice President, University College Cork.
Fíona Uí Uiginn, educator, Irish teacher, Former principal of Coláiste Íosagáin, Dublin, former President of Gaeloideachas.
The organisations on the Education Committee that commissioned the discussion document include:
An Foras Pátrúnachta
An Gréasán do Mhúinteoirí Gaeilge
CONCOS (National Committee of Summer Colleges)
Conradh na Gaeilge
Gaeloideachas (national representative body for all-Irish and Gaeltacht schools)
Irish Second-Level Students' Union
Lárionad na Gaeilge, Maynooth University
SEALBHÚ (DCU Centre for Research in the Teaching and Learning of Irish)
Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta
Údarás na Gaeltachta
Union of Students in Ireland