Thursday, February 24, 2011

Enda's reply!

The answer given by Enda Kenny to the student Francis Whelan on Pat Kenny's show on Irish as a core subject in the Leaving Cert:

"I love the language. What I want to say here is my whole thrust here is to strengthen the language and what I want to do is examine first of all the content of the curriculum and see if it is relevant for future needs. 

Secondly examine seriously the impact of the investment that we are making in the training of our teachers to teach the language. Language is about sounds, music, words, it should be something that should be loved and if it is by primary school children then they don't have a difficulty with it up along the line. 

At the other end Emma, and I will not, I will not introduce the abolition of compulsion until I have finished those assessments and finished them properly. At the other end I will increase the oral Irish marks to 50% which is of an advantage to the people who go to Gaeltacht areas and get that líofacht or blas and also look at the question of increased marks for those who take honours Irish or the ordinary level who intend to go on to third level. 

So far from weakening the language or doing it down, I actually want to strengthen it in the sense that there are hundreds of thousands  of people in this country who spent 12-13-14 years studying this language and cannot put 5 sentences together and we've had 60 years of defence behind compulsion. Irish people have always rejected compulsion. 

Its time for us to grow up on these matters and my belief is if we teach this properly, if we have a relevant curriculum , people love the language and they take it right through to leaving cert  and it becomes much more important for everybody. 

And I respect the views on both sides here Pat. TG4, RnaG, many of the language movements do great work but we should not hide behind the defence of something that has failed.

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