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18th April 2019 | Education

Surely, as a former Geography teacher, Minister McHugh values Geography on the curriculum?: Greens

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Green Party Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin Rathdown Catherine Martin today re-iterated her call for History and Geography to be made compulsory Junior Cycle subjects, as a draft report from the Department of Education indicated that History would be optional for Junior Cycle:

“History informs our understanding of how we are where we are today, and gives us the ability to critically analyse the world around us. The irony of removing history as a core subject during the Decade of Commemorations seems to be lost on the Minister.

“Geography gives us an understanding not just of the physical and natural world around us, but of the myriad peoples and cultures and ways of life across the globe. Geography is crucial in educating our students on one of the most urgent issues facing humankind – the threat of climate change. It beggars belief that Minister McHugh, a former geography teacher himself, won’t even contemplate a review of the decision to remove geography as a core subject .

“By proposing History and Geography as optional subjects the Minister is leaving too much up to chance and is doing nothing to support schools in providing them as subjects. Removing these two subjects as core subjects on the Junior Cycle curriculum will inevitably lead to less students studying Geography and History at Leaving Cert level and beyond.

“History and Geography are at the absolute core to our understanding of the world today, and it is a huge disservice to our children to leave these subjects out of the compulsory Junior Cycle curriculum especially at a time when learning about ourselves, the world around us and lessons from the past is more important than ever before.

“The power to secure history and geography on the Junior Cycle curriculum ultimately lies with Minister McHugh and he needs to step up and ensure our children and future generations do not suffer as a result of a dumbing down of the school curriculum under his watch.”