Dumb it down
Story with Ruairi and the Junior Cert?
Why are people yapping on about the Junior Cert? Thought the results came out a while ago...
They did, and generally speaking you’d expect the Joe Duffy style debates over drunk teens to be making the news for a week at most. This is actually kinda good news. Basically, the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, is looking to get rid of the exam entirely to replace it with what is being described as “continuous assessment”.
What’s that exactly?
Well basically how it’s being planned at the moment is that the teacher in charge of the subject at whatever secondary school would be responsible for the assesment of their own students.
Is that a good thing or...
Nope, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) are rightly pissed off about it.
But surely it’s a good thing that the students don’t have to worry about “the day” at such a young age?
It is, but the teachers would probably argue (and obviously, we are not teachers) that this is a bigger workload and added pressure for them. And it’s probably fair enough; they have enough stress to be dealing with at the best of times.
What exactly did Minister Quinn say?
"The Junior Certificate is no longer a high stakes exam, yet we continue to treat it as if it were a 'dry run' for the Leaving Cert - to the detriment of many of our students.”
He has a point...
Oh that’s not all. The minister added: "Too many students 'switch off' in second year and never reconnect to learning. We know that the experience of third year students is dominated by preparations for the Junior Certificate exams where the focus narrows to the performance in the examination rather than the quality of the learning. It is high time we changed this - for the good of our students and our teachers."
Of course it does. Everyone has been saying for years that the junior cert was kinda pointless.
What next so?
Well Ruairi believes that the children are our future (sorry), so the new legislation will happen sooner rather than later. Expect it to be finalised at some point next year.