Parents back teachers to be fair in marking new Junior Cert course
THE body representing parents of second-level pupils says it is confident teachers will be fair when assessing their own students for the new-style Junior Cert.
National Parents Council post primary (NPCpp) president Don Myers was responding to teacher concerns that the abolition of the traditional Junior Cert will lead to variations in results between schools and will undermine education standards.
Many teachers are also worried that grading their own pupils for the new Junior Cycle Student Award (JCSA), to be awarded by schools, will expose them to undue pressure and criticism from parents.
But Mr Myers said that while they understood the concerns of teachers, the parents' organisation had confidence in their professionalism.
The changes at Junior Cycle involve more interactive learning by students, integration of technology into teaching and learning a host of new subjects.
But it has met considerable opposition from teachers, mainly focused on resistance to assessing their own students as well as concerns about a lack of resources in schools.
Writing in the NPCpp newsletter, Mr Myers said the parents' council believed that the Junior Cert had served its purpose, that it was time for change and that they believed in the JCSA concept.
He said there were understandable concerns around the changes in assessment and "both parents and students have a right to feel reassured that this will be administered fairly".
In additional comments to the Irish Independent, he said: "Teachers are professionals and we would expect that they would carry out their duties in a professional manner, and as parents we would be seen to be supportive."