Saturday 3 December 2016

The Leaving Cert is fair Ruairi – in that it's unfair to everybody

Gerard O'Regan

Published 24/04/2014 | 02:30

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn

DEATH, taxes and the Leaving Cert. They are all part of the natural order of things in Ireland – realities of life that for good or ill sometimes haunt our days and which simply cannot be ignored.

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Ruairi Quinn, who seemed to harbour the defeated aura of a David Moyes this week, has been running the gauntlet at the annual teacher conferences. These Easter get-togethers have turned into a bit of a parody over the past years, and this year in particular seemed strangely out of sync with post-bailout Ireland. More thoughtful members will have winced at some of the antics of their classroom colleagues, which will have done little to woo public support for their primary concern – rates of pay.

Mr Quinn, now in the twilight of a long-running political career, asked for the education portfolio when this Government was formed. He has been beavering away on a plethora of issues, ranging from the teaching of religion, to the highly contentious issue of exam reform. His aspirations on this latter front are commendable – but how realistic are they by way of ensuring there will be no skulduggery when it comes to determining results?

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