News & Media

Department need to deal with the issue of over-assessment of 6th year students

26 November 2020

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade
Aodhan
  • Absolute commitment needed from Minister on Leaving Cert 2021

Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said that the Department of Education need to deal with the issue of over-assessment of 6th year students and to make an absolute commitment that Leaving Cert 2021 will take place.


Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“The Leaving Certificate class of 2021 are being placed under undue pressure due to the lack of clarity of not knowing whether they will actually sit a state examination or not. As a result, they are placed under constant pressure to perform in each class test not knowing whether the test will count towards their Leaving Certificate result if the calculated grading model is used again.

“The Irish Second Level Students Union (ISSU) appeared before the Oireachtas Education Committee this morning and I fully back their request that the Department needs to make a strong statement to address this. My colleague, Senator Mark Wall also raised the issue in the Seanad this morning. Students are under severe unsustainable pressure to perform as they are constantly in exam mode and will not be able to sustain this for the next 6 months or more.

“A repeat of this year’s debacle with the state examinations where we had several weeks of mixed messages from Government before the exams were cancelled at short notice cannot occur again. We need an absolute commitment from Minister Foley that the 2021 state exams will take place next year.

“Secondary school students have been through enough in the last year and they need to approach their examination year with confidence and certainty that their examinations will take place as intended.

“We saw the effect of rushed decision making with the issues with the calculated grading model and the delay in issuing the results. The state examinations may be flawed but they are much fairer than the hastily deployed calculated grade model. I welcome Minister Foleys statement yesterday reconvening the advisory group to plan for the state examinations. However, the Department of Education need to make an unequivocal statement about the over-assessment of students and make an absolute commitment about next year’s state examinations.