Galway Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has been named as a member of a new working group to investigate the introduction of the Chinese language into the Junior Certificate curriculum.
The Maree Senator said she was “honoured” to join the group, which is developing an 11-hour course in Chinese language and culture.
“This is a milestone opportunity, which I hope, in time, will be a benchmark for a follow-on Leaving Certificate course,” said Senator Healy-Eames.
“We need to give careful consideration to our children and young people and their future opportunities. We can no longer just look to the western world. As a nation, we need to think globally and, in this context, China presents Ireland with a world of trade and economic opportunities.”
Senator Healy-Eames continued to add that an understanding of the Chinese culture is a “necessary pre-requisite” to making progress in China and a working knowledge of the language would be an “obvious advantage” for new graduates.
The project team is comprised of educators in Cork, Galway, Maynooth, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Kerry and Dundalk, who have come together to propose a new short course for the junior cycle.
Additionally, a working group consisting of experts drawn from second and third level institutions in Chinese language teaching and learning has also been put in place.