Education Act 1998
30.—(1) The Minister may, from time to time, following such consultation with patrons of schools, national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, as the Minister considers appropriate, prescribe the curriculum for recognised schools, namely—
(a) the subjects to be offered in recognised schools,
(b) the syllabus of each subject,
(c) the amount of instruction time to be allotted to each subject, and
(d) the guidance and counselling provision to be offered in schools.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister—
(a) shall have regard to the desirability of assisting schools to exercise their powers as provided for under subsection (4),
(b) shall have regard to the characteristic spirit of a school or class of school in exercising his or her functions under this section,
(c) may give directions to schools, where he or she considers it appropriate, to ensure that the subjects and syllabuses pursued in those schools are appropriate and relevant to the educational and vocational needs of the students in those schools,
(d) shall ensure that the amount of instruction time to be allotted to subjects on the curriculum as determined by the Minister in each school day shall be such as to allow for such reasonable instruction time, as the board with the consent of the patron determines, for subjects relating to or arising from the characteristic spirit of the school, and
(e) shall not require any student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of the parent of the student or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student.
(3) The Minister may—
(a) consult with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and such other persons or bodies of persons as the Minister considers appropriate on any matter relating to the curriculum for recognised schools, and
(b) establish, as the Minister considers appropriate, such bodies of persons to conduct research and to advise him or her on matters relating to his or her duties under this section.
(4) A school may, subject to the requirement that the curriculum as determined by the Minister is taught in that school, provide courses of instruction in such other subjects as the board considers appropriate.