We need imaginative approach to unlock anxiety for Leaving Certificate students

In Blog, Young People by Denis Naughten

In the Dáil this afternoon I asked An Taoiseach for a debate on the Government decision to insist on the examination format for the Leaving Certificate 2022. He has agreed to try to facilitate such a debate this week.

While the Government has rejected the calls by students for accredited grades, I again reiterated my call last week for an alternative Leaving Certificate which is not like last year but is not like pre-Covid exams either.

As I said last week in the Dáil “Students are now facing into oral, practical and mock exams so they need absolute clarity quickly on this. I accept that last week the Taoiseach indicated here that there may be challenges for the third year in a row if a predicted grades process has an impact on capacity within the third level system. That was reflected at the weekend when Mr. Jim Miley, director of the Irish Universities Association, again flagged issues with the hybrid system. None of us wants to see a position where students must get into college based on a system of random selection.

I accept there are challenges from grade inflation and a fivefold increase in the number of H1s since 2019 highlights problems with the existing system. There is a discrepancy in that if a student is sitting seven exams and is competing with another student sitting three exams and taking predicted grades in the other four subjects because the teacher has indicated the grade that will be achieved, it leaves that student at a distinct disadvantage. I accept we cannot have the leaving certificate we had last year. We need an alternative mechanism, however, and surely we can work with some imagination to provide a fair and balanced system for the students this year

Watch last weeks debate here: https://denisnaughten.ie/2022/01/25/students-need-clarity-on-leaving-certificate-format/