Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Thomas Byrne TD has said the Minister for Education must ensure that history is restored as a core component in the Junior Certificate curriculum cycle. Deputy Byrne was commenting on the 100th anniversary of the first sitting of Dáil Éireann in the Mansion House.

Deputy Byrne explained, “Today is a very timely reminder of the importance to acknowledge and commemorate our history. It is a matter of serious concern to the Fianna Fáil Party that history is no longer a core subject in the new junior cycle. If history is optional for the Junior Certificate there will be fewer and fewer students taking it for the Leaving Certificate.

“Now more than ever we must teach students the skills of research, of how to validate sources and identify fact from fiction. The importance of teaching students to recognise bias cannot be underestimated. This should be a key strand of the Junior Cert curriculum.

“The decision made by Minister McHugh to review the decision to make history an optional subject at junior level is very welcome, however he must ensure that common sense prevails and that the subject is indeed restored as a core component. With or without a review, Fianna Fáil has been committed for some time to restore history as compulsory to junior cert”, concluded Deputy Byrne.