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Moladh le CCEA – leabhair iontacha

June 4, 2013

There will no doubt be lots of complaints. There will perhaps be more complaints this year since some examinations will be corrected on line and there are bound to be teething problems.

But there is much more involved in the work of the Northern Examination Board (CCEA) than the setting and correction of examinations. It publishes guides for Irish teachers and pupils, but as well as that it puts out additional materials which increase pupils’ vocabulary in a creative way. It published two translations recently- ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. Pádraig de Bléine has produced an excellent Irish translation of the two books. The Board has also produced a series of biographies – teenage reading material which is badly needed. And CCEA has just published six booklets on the life of Colm Cille in conjunction with the Nerve Centre in Derry. These are very attractive little booklets. The illustrations are excellent. The stories are told in straight forward, lively Irish in a very humorous style. If you turn the booklet upside down, you get the English version.

This is a far sighted policy. The requirements of Irish language students are different from the requirements of students doing other languages. The GCSE is the first step in repossessing the language. So we must go beyond the basic Irish required for the examination. This supplementary material is excellent preparation for AS and A Level. These books deserve a wider readership. Pupils all over Ireland and adults everywhere would be interested in them. Could the Board not make an arrangement with a publisher?