Saturday 19 August 2017

The school year is already a crowded affair

The unique nature of the Irish primary schools system means that schools operate under private patronage – mainly the churches
The unique nature of the Irish primary schools system means that schools operate under private patronage – mainly the churches
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

There are 915 teaching hours in the Irish primary school year and 92.5 of them are allocated to religious, ethics and moral education.

It means that the average Irish primary pupil spends 10pc of his or her time on religion or ethics, second only to Israel - and twice the 5pc average across the developed world.

So, proposals from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) for the first ever State curriculum on Education about Religions, Beliefs and Ethics (ERBE) immediately raises questions about how to fit this in to what is acknowledged as a very busy school schedule.

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