Irish language will return to GCSE curriculum

Irish language will return to GCSE curriculum

THE IRISH language will be back on the GCSE curriculum in two years – but it is bittersweet news for Gaeilge enthusiasts.

Though previously withdrawn from the school system in England and Wales in 2013, despite what Coláiste na nGael said was a “rising demand” for the course.

The group has been campaigning for the re-introduction of the Irish language since it was removed from the British school system – though the latest news if not “even a partial victory”, according to Christy Evans, spokesperson for Coláiste na nGael.

“The partial restoration of GCSE Irish from 2017 is not acceptable,” said Christy. “We have Irish-speaking children who want to sit the exam now. Irish is a working language of the European Union.”

Coláiste na nGael is seeking a full re-introduction of the language into the GSCE curriculum, to allow those currently in the system to pursue their desired studies.

As the median age of Irish-born residents falls in the London region, there is an increase in the number of Irish children in schools around London and Britain in general.

“Unfortunately, funding currently tends to prioritise the longer-established Irish community,” said Christy, of the rise in numbers of young people. “We must not overlook Irish children in English schools. Irish GCSE must be offered on the same basis as all other GSCE languages.”