Dáil Éireann - Volume 383 - 19 October, 1988

Written Answers. - Primary School Syllabus.

293. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Education if she will outline the hours recommended by her Department for each subject within the primary school syllabus, for each week; if any provision is made or recommended for the teaching of continental languages; if not, if she has any intention of introducing such a change; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke): In keeping with the principles of flexibility and integration inherent in the structure of the new curriculum, my Department do not lay down specific periods of time for various curriculum activities but advise that a certain minimum time be spent on each aspect of the curriculum each day.

At present continental languages do not form part of the approved curriculum for national schools. At primary level emphasis is placed on the development and use of the two official languages of the State, Irish and English, with a view to facilitating the introduction of further languages at an early stage of post-primary education.

The primary school curriculum is the subject of an overall review at present. Pending the outcome of this review there are no plans to introduce the teaching of further languages in national schools.