SCOTS students will have a guaranteed entitlement to study Scottish texts in their Higher English exams, the Scottish Government announced today.
Marking Burns Day, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell signalled the Government’s intention to ensure that all pupils taking Higher English exams will answer at least one question on Scottish texts.
Higher English courses will include a specific element on Scottish texts from the 2014 academic year onwards.
The Education Secretary said: “Our country has a rich and world renowned literary tradition and it is fitting to be able to make this announcement on Burns night, when we celebrate the national bard.
“Scotland’s contribution to literature is marked down the generations, Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson have provided work that has lasted the test of time, along with contemporary writers like Irvine Welsh and Liz Lochhead. We want our children and young people to have the chance to learn about our literary tradition and to inspire the future generations of Scottish writers.”
Scotland’s Makar, Liz Lochhead said: “In common with just about every English teacher, academic, and certainly every fellow writer, that I’ve consulted informally for their opinion, I am delighted thatScotlandseeks to ensure that some Scottish texts are included in the Literature taught in our schools. And that it will be a requirement to answer an examination question on at least one of these.
“Remembering that such texts may be in English, Scots-English, Scots, or any mixture of these, may come from any historical period, including the present, and are certainly not required to reflect a chauvinistic or uncritical view of Scottish Society, it can only benefit our future citizens to so engage with their own culture. It is hard to think of any other country which doesn’t seek these opportunities for its teachers and students.”