Tuesday 17 July 2018

Why 'the end is nigh for classical studies' as it has been for nearly 40 years

Junior Cert

A question about the Roman army was the trickiest one for students of classical studies. Photo: Iakov Kalinin
A question about the Roman army was the trickiest one for students of classical studies. Photo: Iakov Kalinin
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

A question about the Roman army was the trickiest one for students of classical studies.

Jim O'Dea, a retired teacher from Rathdown School in Glenageary, Dublin, and the ASTI subject representative, said that in relation to the higher level paper "the questions on the Roman army were quite difficult in comparison to the other topics which were along traditional lines".

"My only criticism of the paper was the disparity in the allocation of marks in section B of the various topics," he added.

"Out of a total of 32 marks, in four of the 10 topics there were questions which carried a range of marks from 16 to 24."

Apart from the Roman army topic, this was a fair paper, he felt.

Meanwhile, in relation to ordinary level paper, he added: "Again with the exception of the Roman army topic, this was quite a reasonable paper and section B questions were easier and more to the point."

Meanwhile, he commented: "The end is nigh for classical studies as we know it for almost 40 years.

"As and from 2019 the new Junior Cert classics course will be introduced.

"This will replace and combine the present courses in classical studies, Latin and Ancient Greek. Pupils will be able to do classics with or without a language module," he pointed out.

In Latin, Aryn Penn, the ASTI subject representative and a teacher at Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin, described both the higher level and ordinary level papers as being broadly in keeping with expectations.

Students earlier in the day sat the German exam. "My students described the paper as fair, but they found a couple of items in the letter tricky," said Fiona Healy, the ASTI subject representative and teacher at St Joseph's, Ballybunion, Co Kerry.

They felt the reading and listening parts of the higher level paper were nice.

The ordinary level paper was also "fair", she said.

Irish Independent

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