On Monday 17 November the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, and the Minister for Education in the north, John O’Dowd MLA, launched the 2015 ‘Decade of Centenaries’ all-island schools history competition. The competition, which is being sponsored this year by Mercier Press, invites primary and post primary students from schools across Ireland to submit a project on any topic relevant to the school history curriculum. Projects can be submitted by a class, a group of students, or an individual student. There are four categories in this year’s competition: biography; local/regional; national; and ‘Decade of Centenaries’. The projects will be assessed by a three person panel involving representatives from the Department of Education and Skills, Mercier Press, and the School of History in University College Cork. Prizes will be awarded to the best primary and post-primary project in each category.
Launching the competition, Minister O’Sullivan said ‘I am delighted to announce the second ‘Decade of Centenaries’ all-island schools history competition. I am optimistic that students across the island will display the same level of enthusiasm for the competition as they did last year. It gives our students an opportunity to examine how specific events in our past have influenced the society around them. It also provides a platform for students to refine and showcase the research and analytical skills that will benefit them in their history studies and also in other subject areas’. Minister O’Dowd remarked that in this fast changing world, we tend to define ourselves by where we are going but to truly understand who we are, we need to look at where we have been. Assessing the impact of an event or person from that decade on their local area can help students understand how historical events impact on the everyday lives of ordinary people. The importance of understanding history should not be under-estimated and I urge schools across Ireland to get involved’.
All winning projects will be published online on www.scoilnet.ie. The winners in the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ category will also receive a year’s subscription to History Ireland. One of the winners will also be considered for publication in History Ireland. This joint cross-border initiative forms part of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ commemorations which are being organised to mark the centenary of the many important historical events that occurred in the period 1912-1922. The deadline for receipt of completed projects is 3 April 2015. Click here for full details of the 2015 competition.