Quinn approves plan to abolish Junior Cert in 2014
Education minister Ruairi Quinn has approved plans to abolish the Junior Certificate and replace it with a radical new system.
The new progamme will be introduced in schools from 2014 and will see a much greater emphasis on continuous assessment, with exams only making up 60pc of the final mark.
It will also allow students gain marks for extra curricular activities such as debating or drama.
Under the new arrangements, students will carry more responsibility for learning, through building portfolios of work over a two-year period.
The number of subjects studied will also be capped at eight, and the focus will switch from "covering the course" to deeper learning and building key skills for life.
The new qualification will be called the National Certificate for Junior Cycle Education.
The plans were published just over a month ago by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and will affect those children who are currently in fourth class or lower at primary school.
However, the NCCA has warned that real transformation will not happen unless teachers get additional training and schools the resources they will need to implement change.