EDUCATION Minister Jan O’Sullivan has rejected a suggestion that corruption is so endemic in Ireland that teachers cannot be trusted to grade their own students in the Junior Cert.
The issue of teachers assessing their own students is at the core of union resistance to Junior Cycle reform and is causing the one-day strike in over 700 schools next Tuesday.
But Ms O’Sullivan has taken strong exception to claims made by a newspaper columnist this week, and said it was an “entirely corrosive argument” to suggest that teachers would be vulnerable to subtle pressures around assessing students.
She took the opportunity to deliver a robust response to the columnist , during an address to the annual meeting of Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) today
The public row over Junior Cycle reform started two years ago when former minister Ruairi Quinn announced the abolition of the State certificate for the Junior Cert and the replacement of the traditional June exams with teachers grading their own students.
In a significant compromise two weeks ago, the minister agreed to retain the State certificate and to continue the traditional exams for 60pc of the marks, with teachers responsible for the other 40pc