Friday 28 April 2017

No fairer points

Sir -- There have been numerous articles this week calling for an overhaul of the points system and the introduction of a 'fairer' Leaving Certificate. Many, including Celia Larkin's (Sunday Independent, August 22), espouse the benefits of awarding merit to students for their personal development. I cannot think of a single subject in which students receive formal instruction in these areas, so is it really 'fair' to take these qualities into consideration?

The Leaving Certificate rightly examines course content not life experience. "If your cognitive development is slower", as Ms Larkin puts it, the student is afforded the opportunity of undertaking a transition year or repeating the exam.

The Leaving Certificate system is, however, not the problem. The exam is the product of a second-level education system that promotes rote learning. The second-level curriculum needs to be moved into line with the primary curriculum, not only for continuity but because the primary curriculum is more inclusive. Unfortunately, until this happens, the Leaving Certificate is as fair as it gets!

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