Leaving Cert a missed opportunity to reimagine education in Ireland

01 February 2022

Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the leaked decision to revert to the traditional leaving cert is a missed opportunity for the delivery of education in this country.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“There is huge disappointment and hurt from students throughout the country who have learned about the decision on this year’s leaving cert via media and social media. It is devastating for the many students who campaigned brilliantly over the last while for a hybrid approach to this year’s exams.

“Unfortunately, we see this time and again with the Minister and Department who failed to listen to what students, teachers and parents were saying.

“Questions must be asked about the Department’s openness to innovation and changing the education system for the better. We continue to hear anecdotal evidence from the further and higher education institutions that students who took a hybrid exam last year are performing well and above average in some cases. Where is Minister Harris in this decision? Why is he not advocating for the class of 2022?

“This is a disappointing day for students throughout the country. Following this decision, I will be pushing government to deliver on its commitment set out in the Programme for Government for a Citizens’ Assembly on the Future of Education. Covid has changed everything and there are a range of deep, institutional issues that must be addressed including the dominant role of the Catholic Church as a school patron. It’s time that we reflect debate and discuss how we can provide our students with a better, fairer standard of education.

“Exams should not be the be all and end all for students. We’ve seen the success of the past two years. It’s time for government to commit to listening to our students, our teachers, parents, experts and the ordinary citizens of our State.”

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