Time to reform the Leaving Certificate
Labour Party Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called on the Government to consider and implement proposals to assess the Leaving Cert over two years.
Senator Ó Ríordáin said:
“Anecdotally, we have known for a long time that the Leaving Cert puts an enormous amount of pressure on young students.
“Reports will be going to the Minister for Education shortly on how we can reform the Leaving Certificate and one proposal is to stagger assessment over two years instead of having eight-ten exams all in one go.“It’s time for the Government to take the views of students, the ones who will sit the exams, into account.
“Research by the ESRI has shown that the current Leaving Cert put a huge focus on rote learning and has damaged the creativity of many students.
“The current system does not adequately prepare students for further education or indeed real world employment scenarios. There are very few jobs that require a huge amount of rote learning and high pressure exams every two years.
“We know subjects like History, Geography and Politics & Society require independent research but these subjects are not available in every school. Perhaps it is time for the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council of Curriculum and Assessment to figure out how to ensure students are prepared for the real world.
“It is time for Minister to constructively engage with Irish Second Level Students Union, National Parents’ Council and teachers’ unions with a view to addressing issues raised and to chart a course forward. We all know that the Leaving Certificate in the current form is hurting too many of our students.”