What would the education system look like?
Not very different.
Don’t mention schools to me. They’ve been a bone of contention
in Northern Ireland since Partition
Did you realise schooling in Northern and Southern Ireland share many features?
Stop chipping away at our Britishness
Like the rest of the UK, pre-school education in Northern Ireland and in the Republic is non-compulsory
but free places are available for about 90% of children (NI) and 100% (Republic) in their immediate pre-school year. Children start primary school aged 4 or 5 and can leave school when they are 16.
School holidays in Northern Ireland are considerably different from those of Great Britain, and are more similar to those in the Republic. Often Northern Irish schools don’t take a full week for half-term.
Usually the summer term doesn’t even have a half-term break. Christmas and Easter holidays sometimes last less than two weeks.
Summer holidays are much longer, with the end of June and all July and August off.
Both parts of Ireland have schools offering Irish-medium education.
Pupils are usually taught most subjects through the medium of Gaelic but English is taught through English. Gaelscoils were started in the 20th century and are now firmly established as an effective form of bilingual education. In the South there are nearly 4,000 preschoolers attend 278 Irish language medium Naíonraí.
Almost 10% of school children in the Republic attend 368 primary and post-primary Gaelscoils. In Northern Ireland there are 21 stand-alone schools and 12 Irish-medium units attached to English-medium host schools.There are two independent schools teaching through the medium of Irish. These are Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach in Crumlin
and Gaelscoil na Daróige in Derry City.
Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta(CnaG) was set up in 2000 by the Department of Education to promote, facilitate and encourage Irish-medium Education and to extend its availability to parents who wish to avail of it for their children.
We have English-medium only integrated education in Northern Ireland
whose primary focus is to provide a religiously mixed environment capable of attracting reasonable numbers of both Catholic and Protestant pupils.
In the South we have multidenominational schools which are often opened due to parental demand and students from all religions and backgrounds are welcome.
We also have single faith schools
You’re talking about minorities
No, listen! In June every year in Ireland North and South students have exams.
In Northern Ireland for boys and girls aged around 16 they are the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations which mark the end of compulsory education. Currently English and mathematics are compulsory as well as other subjects.
In the South students do the Junior Certificate in all subjects – English, Irish, maths and science (unless the student has an exemption in one of these)
as well as a number of chosen subjects, like the GCSEs. Subjects include Art, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek and classical studies, music, business studies, technology, home economics, materials technology (woodwork), metalwork, history, geography, Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE), and religious education. The selection of optional and compulsory subjects varies from school to school
In Northern Ireland at age 18-19, pupils do GCSE A Levels in three or four subjects and success in these can determine acceptance into higher education courses at university
In the South they sit for the Leaving Certificate (Ardteistiméireacht) in six to eight subjects, including English, Mathematics and Irish (exemptions available) and usually a foreign language, There are three distinct programmes that can be followed. each is intended to reinforce the principles of secondary education; to prepare the student for education, society and work.
Yes, but they’re not the same thing. Our A levels are worth a lot more than their Leaving Cert
On June 8, 2004 it was decided that a Leaving Certificate (higher) subject is worth two-thirds of an A-level (UK, except Scotland).
Anyway you’re avoiding the issue of segregation in Northern Ireland
Not really, I think it is a red herring
But we’ll talk about that tomorrow!
(to be cont)