Labour Local Election Candidate, Anne Ferris, is joining the call to the Minister for Education to completely reform the Leaving Cert exam and to stagger assessment over two years instead of having students sit so many exams in one go. “Every student, parent and teacher knows that the Leaving Cert puts a huge amount of pressure on young students and the Labour Party believes it is time for the Government to take into account the views of students, the very ones who will sit the exams.
“Recent research by the ESRI shows that the all too familiar Leaving Cert puts an enormous focus on rote learning and is damaging the creativity of many students. I know from first-hand experience in UCD that the current system does not adequately prepare students for college or indeed the workplace. There are very few jobs that require a huge amount of rote learning and high-pressure exams every two years.
“Students who go on to college are required to carry out independent research but these skills are not necessarily learned by rote learning. A lot of students entering college after completing their Leaving Cert exams find it extremely difficult to change from the system of rote learning to independent thinking and research.
“We in the Labour Party believe it is now time for the Education Minister to listen to the Irish Second Level Students Union, the National Parents’ Council and the Teachers’ Unions to see how the Leaving Cert can be reformed to benefit all students in secondary schools.