Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has said it is crucial that independent assessment is a core part of a reformed Junior Cert exam system.
Deputy McConalogue was commenting following reports of the NCCA’s draft proposals for four of the short courses which could form part of a reformed Junior Cert exam giving students more choice and moving away from rote learning.
Deputy McConalogue commented: “Fianna Fáil is very supportive of the need to radically overhaul our education structure and in particular the exam environment to ensure it is fit for purpose and ensuring the best possible outcomes for students. The draft proposals from the NCCA detailed in the media today are very interesting and I think will form part of a necessary discussion among politicians, teachers, students and parents in the months ahead. I am very pleased to see physical and mental health included in the draft proposals alongside advanced computer skills. It is essential that Minister Quinn listens to all those concerned before moving forward.
“I have said previously that I am concerned however about the eight year roll out of the reform agenda and that issues around funding, teacher-training and assessment need to be clarified by Minister Quinn. In particular we believe that independent assessment of the exams must be central a reformed Junior Cert exam regime.
“Our education system has a strong and distinguished record that Ireland can be proud of. However we must ensure that in all the reforms proposed and introduced that teachers, parents, students, colleges and even employers in Ireland have continued confidence in our education system to deliver a high quality standard of education for future generations.
“I look forward to engaging with those working in the sector in the coming weeks and months to consider the reform proposals,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.