Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
Beebub
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Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by Beebub » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:20 pm

Ruairi Quinn is implementing a plan to replace the Junior cert. Does anyone know, is religion currently a mandatory subject for the Junior cert.? We could ask miinister to allow students not to take religion as a Junior cert. subject given that it looks as though he's planning to introduce a maximum number of subjects taken for assesment of 8. I assume this means students will be allowed to pick certain subjects to take for assesment and discard others?

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/bre ... ing26.html
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by Dr Raskolnikov » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:26 pm

I'm not clear on why the hell "Irish" is considered a core subject in 21st Century Ireland. I have no issue with children having the option to learn Irish should they so choose, but having it compulsory is just BS. Surely in the global world we need young people who can speak a real language that they can use outside the effin' Gaeltacht. :?
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Beebub
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by Beebub » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:31 pm

That's an entirely different topic for a different thread. I'm concerned with Junior cert religion. AI is not an anti-Irish language lobby group, but it is a lobby group against the over bearing influence religion has on our lives.
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by funkyderek » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:43 pm

Beebub wrote:Does anyone know, is religion currently a mandatory subject for the Junior cert.?
No, and as far as I know, in most schools it's not even an option. There is religion class but it's not studied to exam level.
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by Dr Raskolnikov » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:48 pm

Take it easy Beebub, I know what we're about on here! :)

Apologies for temporarily derailing your thread, it's just that I consider the forced teaching of Irish as a cultural oppression which is part and parcel of the whole "Catholic Ireland Experience (tm)". I will never live in Ireland again, mainly because of the forced indoctrination of children in schools, but I also don't want my child to be forced to employ a large part of his intellect in a futile effort to master a dead language with very limited utility in our modern age. <ooooh controversial :mrgreen: >

Now, back to the topic:

I sat the Junior Cert in its first year back in 1992, and while we had "religion" classes that were taught by a Christian Brother, we certainly never had to do any exams and there was no requirement to do the formal Junior Cert religion exam, which seems to be still the case given what funkyderek said. It's absolutely right that religion should be an optional extra subject at most, if there must be such an exam in the curriculum, however it doesn't look like there's an issue for us to deal with here.
Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins the movie by telling you how it ends. Well, I say there are some things we don't want to know. Important things. - Ned Flanders
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by aiseiri47 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:03 pm

I do think the point of Irish being considered a core subject is a important one; it shows the value of tradition in the role of education. Three subjects are given additional hours because they are more highly valued: English, Maths and Irish. Why not toss out Irish and include Science? Science is not merely a subject, it is the process by knowledge is acquired. It should be a staple in education from Junior Infants upwards.

Not that I think that's going to happen - but it's clear that traditional values and historical aspects of our national identity are heavily influential factors in deciding the national curriculum. It is because of this that the fight to maintain religious education in national schools is so strong.

A truly radical overhaul of the education system would place value on what children need to be taught, rather than what they've always been taught and therefore should continue to be taught. Irish and religion have similarities in that respect.

As for whether or not Quinn's current plan takes into account the rights of students not to take Religion as a subject, I can only say that I certainly hope so. I was recently rather horrified (though sadly not surprised) to learn from the boyfriend's sister (currently fourth year) that a local "non-denominational" secondary level school recites the Our Father during the beginning of their Religion lesson. I think it is just the current teacher perpetuating this tradition, because my boyfriend attended this secondary school and said that his Religion class never did any such thing. They probably didn't have the most objective religious education judging from what we've seen of the Religion Junior Cert examination, but they certainly didn't recite any prayers.

Whatever the issue, I think that religious education in this country is a minefield better avoided for all non-RC parents until the school system can assure it will be taught objectively (and preferably as a minor subject in a geography class, as an aspect of culture).
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by Beebub » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:10 pm

Dr Raskolnikov wrote:Take it easy Beebub, I know what we're about on here! :)
There's no problem Dr. My reply stemmed from the fact that you made no reference to the theme of the thread and I didn't start it to discuss the relevence of Irish.
aiseiri47 wrote:A truly radical overhaul of the education system would place value on what children need to be taught, rather than what they've always been taught and therefore should continue to be taught. Irish and religion have similarities in that respect.
I don't agree the reasons Irish continues to be taught is due to what they've always been taught, nor with your assertion that it's similar to religion. However, as mentioned, that's not the point of the thread.
funkyderek wrote:No, and as far as I know, in most schools it's not even an option. There is religion class but it's not studied to exam level.
Thanks Derek. That clears it up so! :D
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by aiseiri47 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:35 pm

Beebub wrote: I don't agree the reasons Irish continues to be taught is due to what they've always been taught, nor with your assertion that it's similar to religion. However, as mentioned, that's not the point of the thread.
I'll have to disagree with you on the first; the only reason I can see for mandatory Irish education is a somewhat desperate cling to tradition. And as to the second, I just want to clarify that I did not say they were similar, but that they "have similarities".

But I shan't say any more because to do so would derail the discussion.

I was under the impression that it could be difficult to keep one's child out of religious education at the secondary level. Is the class mandatory even though the exam is not?
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by Feardorcha » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:10 pm

I'd like all those "useful" subjects, such as book-keeping, accountancy, doing-what-you're-told, obeying silly rules, greediness, to be dumped in favour of the beautiful useless ones.
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Re: Radical plan to replace Junior cert

Post by Tulip1 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:05 pm

I think the reason many Irish people are resiliant against learning Irish is because it is compulsery.

We have a language in the north of the Netherlands called Frisian (Fries). It was/is not compulsery for the national curricilum and there every one speaks and learn it.

Would that be a good assumption or is it just because it is not spoken that much?

I want to learn Irish because then I can understand many place names and I find that a lot of information about the area is hidden in names.
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