Major news as it has been announced that a new subject, Politics and Society, will be introduced into the Leaving Cert syllabus from next year. Fifth year students will begin studying the subject from 2016 onwards, with Leaving Cert points being awarded for the first time in 2018.
According to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), the wide-ranging topic will cover power and decision-making at local and international level, human rights and globalisation. Other issues to be examined will include voting systems in the Oireachtas, media ownership and control, as well as social class and patriarchy.
The subject will initially be taught in approximately 25 schools around the country, with applications from schools currently being assessed by the Department of Education and the NCCA. Teachers qualified in areas such as politics, sociology and anthropology will be the first to be considered to teach the new subject.
The majority (80%) of the points awarded for the subject, which will be offered at higher and ordinary level, will come from a written exam, with an individual citizenship project counting for 20%. The project will give students an opportunity to think of practical ways to get involved in political, social or civic life.
The NCCA say that Politics and Society will suit “any student who is interested in human rights, equality, diversity, sustainable development, power and democratic decision-making.”