Education Committee should consider OECD review on Leaving Cert

30 November 2020
  • Need for a reasonable, reflective debate on the future of the state exam

Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called for the Oireachtas Education Committee to consider the OECD review on Leaving Cert once published.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said it was time for a reasonable, reflective debate on the report and on the future of the state exam.

“I welcome the imminent publication of this OECD review into the Leaving Cert and once published the Education Committee should consider its findings as part of a debate on the future of the Leaving Cert.

“We know anecdotally that the Leaving Cert puts a lot of pressure on students with a big focus on rote learning and cramming that does not adequately prepare students for the real world.

“I have consistently called for the examination to be reformed to place less emphasis on rote learning and more on creativity and individual research.

“There is also a need as this report states to seriously look at how we assess students who will not progress to further and higher education and will instead enter the workforce upon completing the Leaving Cert as they are not adequately served by the CAO based points race.

“This OECD review is a good basis upon which to commence a reasoned, reflective debate on the nature and form of the Leaving Certificate exam. The State examinations need reform and this report should be considered as part of this.

“The current State examination system does not adequately prepare students for further education or indeed real-world employment. There are very few professions that require a huge amount of rote learning and high-pressure exams every two years.

“We all know that the Leaving Certificate in the current form does not work for many of our students. We saw earlier this year with the calculated grading fiasco the effect of having to cancel the Leaving Certificate at the last minute, considering the Covid crisis, it is beyond time to review and reform the Leaving Cert.


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