Scots text will be a compulsory part of school exams from 2014. Published on Wednesday 25 January 2012 - The Scotsman
ALL pupils taking Higher English exams will be required to answer a question on Scottish texts, Education Secretary Michael Russell said today.
The announcement, coinciding with Burns Night, confirms the Scottish Government’s acceptance of the recommendation from the Scottish Studies Working Group, and Higher English will include a specific element on Scottish texts from 2014/15 onwards.
Currently students have the option of answering a question on a Scottish text, however this new measure will make this a compulsory part of the exam.
Mr Russell 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, who is the national poet, 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 that Scotland seeks 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.”