IT IS a controversial topic with both beneficial and non-benificial outcomes. As we are part of the only all-Irish speaking secondary school in County Wexford, we decided to research this topic. Gathering information on the increasing levels of the use of the Irish language. Or whether Irish is a dying language and if there is any point of learning the language. Overall, we hope this article highlights the main advantages and disadvantages of an education through Irish.
The main advantage of an education through Irish are the bonus points given in a State Exam - Junior certificate and Leaving Certificate. Bonus points are awarded to students who complete their state examinations through Irish. This is a huge advantage to students who attend all-Irish speaking schools and one of the main attractions of attending an Irish school/being educated through Irish. It is un-deniable that an opportunity to receive up to a 10% bonus may be added to the original score of the student.
Irish is Irelands native language. A Celtic language, rare and unique. Creating further interest in the history of Ireland.
There are Irish speakers in the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia. Studies show that the Irish language is spreading and the number of people able to speak the language increasing, not only in Ireland but throughout the world. With a total of 391,470 fluent or native speakers in Ireland.
An education through Irish offers the new generation of Ireland the opportunity to be more confident and comfortable with the understanding and ability to speak their native language.
An education through Irish is also promoting and keeping the Irish heritage alive. Which is a bonus for the country itself, especially the tourist industry.
Being educated through Irish is an impressive trait in which the citizens of other countries find very impressive. It may be an advantage to those looking for work abroad, especially in countries such as America and other countries where the Irish culture is popular.
There is a limited amount of Leaving Certificate work books available through Irish, which puts more stress on students/teachers, as notes must be translated from English to Irish.
There are very few third level courses through Irish which may indicate that there is no real need to have a education through Irish, as there are limited ways to pursue an education through Irish. Also students who have been educated through Irish up to third level education often find it difficult doing third level college courses through English, it can involve the student having to re-learn much of the English vocabulary to do with a particular course/subject.
It is difficult for students who are educated through Irish to get grinds, as many grind teachers only offer grinds through English. As many students depend on the extra help and understanding of their school work, a lack of a facility like this is an extreme disadvantage. Also putting more, extra pressure on the student.
A lack of teachers is often visible in Irish-speaking schools. Especially in nongaeltacht areas, where there a fewer fluent and native Irish speakers. This has a negative affect on the students, as often a lack of teachers means having teachers teaching subjects they are not qualified to teach and also on the school itself, as it means the teachers may have more subjects to teach and less time to focus on the subjects they are qualified to teach.