THE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT has said that there is a possibility of including road safety on the Junior Certificate curriculum.
Responding to a question in the Dáil Leo Vardakar said that while the Junior Cert is a matter for the Department of Education and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessmen, there is scope to consider making road safety educational programmes compulsory.
Donegal North East TD Joe McHugh told the minister that he had been told by a teacher that she she could only keep a group of boys “by promising that if they were quiet and participated in class she would take them out afterwards and show them the engine in her new car”.
McHugh said that this positivity and enthusiasm should be harnessed and that the Finnish model, and consider the use of simulators, self-evaluation or driving instructors in schools:
There is an interest in the mechanics of the car, among boys in particular, although I do not exclude the female student population.
Varadkar said that the proposed development of the junior cycle programme presents opportunities for the Road Safety Authority to further develop its existing road safety programme. The minister said that there is a proposal to make road safety education one of the modules a student can take for the new Junior Certificate:
It would not be compulsory but I imagine it would be very popular, particularly with young men, especially if it allowed them to do the theory test or make some progress towards getting a driving licence.