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Teacher concern at abolition of Junior Cert

Teacher concern at abolition of Junior Cert

‘We believe every student is entitled to a fair, impartial and transparent State cert’
Junior Cert exam to be replaced by school assessments on phased basis


The president of Ireland’s main second-level teachers’ union says she was “deeply concerned” about the decision by the Minister for Education to abolish the Junior Cert.

In a message of congratulations to Junior Cert students, ASTI president Sally Maguire criticised plans by Ruairí Quinn which mean that from 2014 students will no longer sit the exam.

“Under the Minister’s proposals young people wh o spend five or six years participating in second-level education will not experience State certificate examinations until they reach Leaving Certificate,” Ms Maguire said.

She said the Junior Cert exam was invaluable Leaving Cert preparation and enabled students, parents and teachers to gauge aptitude prior to maki n g choices about the Leaving Cert.

Ms Maguire also expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the school-administered exams, graded by students’ own teachers, set to replace the State exam.

“We believe that every student is entitled to a fair, impartial and transparent State certificate to record their achievement at junior cycle. A school certificate based on grades awarded by students ’ own teachers does not have t he same status or validity as an independent State certificate.”

This year’s Junior Cert results will be one of the last under the current model, in place since 1991.

The reforms announced by Minister Quinn in October 2012 will be introduced on a phased basis from 2014.

The new English curriculum will be the first to be introduced to first years in 2014, followed by Irish, science and business studies for first years in 2015.

Under the reforms, the Junior Cert exam will be replaced by school-based assessment, with an emphasis on the quality of the students’ learning experience. Ms Maguire urged students celebrating their results to act responsibly. Higher level maths The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union said it was happy with the steady rise in the number of Junior Cert students taking higher level maths. It appealed to students “to be responsible and mindful to others in their celebrations”.

Minister of St at e f or Research Sean Sherlock said the increasing number of students taking higher level maths was welcome. More students also taking science at higher level was “an important step to building Ireland’s knowledge economy”.

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Foilsithe ar 12 Meán Fómhair 2013 / Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 12 Meán Fómhair 2013

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