Country Idealist Profiles

Ireland – The relationship between Second Level Schools and the Non-Profit Sector.

There is no formal direct link between the schools and the Non Profit Sector.  However, in Second Level schools, students are introduced to the whole concept of active citizenship.

In the junior cycle of second level schools, as part of the Junior Certificate Course,  the subject Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) is taught to all students over a three year period.  This is a course on Active Citizenship.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child underpin this course.  The central concept of this course is that of Citizenship – creating an awareness of the importance of the civic, social and political dimensions in the life of the individual through active participation in society.  During this course, students come to learn and understand the importance of the following seven concepts – Rights and Responsibilities, Human Dignity, Law, Development, Interdpendence, Stewardship and Democracy.  As part of this course students have the opportunity to become involved in active learning situations and Action projects – in the classroom, school, local community or beyond.
Many second level schools offer a one year programme called the Transition Year Programme.  This is for students who have completed the Junior Cycle and before they enter the senior cycle Leaving Certificate Programme.  The aim of this Transition Year programme is to promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.  The purpose of this programme is to promote maturity in

  • studies – through the development of general, technical and academic skills,
  • work and careers – by developing work related skills,
  • personal maturity – by providing opportunities to develop communication skills, self confidence and a sense of responsilility
  • social maturity – by developing greater ´people´ skills and more awareness of the world outside school.

The Transition Year provides an opportunity to reinforce and build upon the work of CSPE in the Junior Cycle – the main aim being to develop active and participatory citizenship in pupils with regards to human rights and social responsibilities.  CSPE permetes all aspects of the Transition Year Programme.


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