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Number of Junior cert subjects cut to eight

The number of subjects that can be taken in the Junior Cert will be cut to eight under new plans aimed at improving literacy and numeracy.

At the moment, students can take over ten subjects and the move is designed to give students more time to focus on fewer subjects.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is also writing to schools countrywide asking them to spend at least 90 minutes of every day on improving reading skills, and at least 50 minutes on mathematics.

However, he added that the new strategy, which will cost up to €19m annually, will mean cuts to other aspects of the education budget.