On 4 December, Department of Education and Skills of Ireland launched the government’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026. According to the Strategy, Mandarin Chinese will be on the curriculum for Leaving Certificate students who enter fifth year in September 2020.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. explained that the Strategy aims to put Ireland in the top ten countries in Europe for the teaching and learning of foreign languages by improving proficiency and diversity, thus contributing to Ireland’s drive to make its education and training service the best in Europe within a decade.
Warmly received as a positive outcome of the ever-deepening relationship between China and Ireland, the introduction of Chinese as a Leaving Certificate subject is an important landmark in the integration of Chinese into Ireland’s national education system, and will significantly enhance the popularisation of Chinese and the Chinese culture in Ireland. For young Irish today, a good command of Chinese and understanding of the Chinese culture will undoubtedly benefit not only the cooperation between Ireland and China, but also the career prospects of the students.