Calls To Reform The Leaving Ce...

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Calls To Reform The Leaving Cert To Combat Anxiety Around Exams


05:57 30 Nov 2020

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There are calls for a radical re-think on how the Leaving Cert system works.

It's after an OECD review found that the Leaving Cert points system generates high levels of stress and anxiety among students and their families.

It says the exams are too rigid and narrow with its main focus seeming to be that it acts as a filter for higher education.

According to the Irish Times, the media, document and to some extent contribute to this stress with an exhaustive coverage of the exams every summer.

Labour’s Education spokesperson Aodhan O’Riordan says many students are made to feel like the Leaving Cert will dictate their whole lives.

"It would appear as though your entire life prospects are dependent on this set of exams at the end of sixth year."

He said the exams have not changed since his generation which he remembers being "quite stressful".

"We can just sympathise with the class of 2020 for what they went through."

Former Minister Adviser Says A "Radical Look" Is Needed

The review is also understood to back what other critics of the Leaving Cert have been saying – that the cycle needs to prepare students for life as opposed to just exams.

It’s due to be published later this week

John Walsh was an advisor to former Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, he thinks the exams have to change.

He said the exams have been called independent, brutal but fair and trusted but says they are "words to bat of demands for change."

"I think after what happened this year we can't hide behind those words."

He said a "radical look" at the leaving cert is needed.

Minister for Education Norma Foley also acknowledged the stress of the exams.

She said her department is willing to address any shortcomings they find.

Minister Foley also pointed out that Ireland's education status was "one of the highest performing education systems in the OECD.


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