Thursday 18 January 2018

Nine in 10 teachers claim schools not ready for new Junior Cert

New survey by ASTI

Katherine Donnelly, Education Editor

ALMOST nine in 10 secondary teachers say their school is not ready to implement the new-style Junior Certificate in September.

A new survey found that 89pc of members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) believe the school had limited, little or no capacity to bring in the changes.

The majority of teachers surveyed, 77pc, want the reforms deferred for one year to give schools time to plan.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn insists the changes will start September when a new syllabus for English, the first subject to be introduced in the new junior cycle, is rolled out for first years.

The ASTI survey by Millward Brown comes ahead of the annual teacher conferences next week, where , for second-level unions, Junior Cert reform will dominate the agenda.

The ASTI and the Teachers Union of Ireland(TUI) are engaged in industrial action and have banned co-operation with certain activities related to the  proposals for change

The radical reform is aimed at overhauling the teaching and learning experience in the  first three years in second-level.

Key to the change is the replacement of the traditional Junior Cert exams with a system of teachers assessing their own students, for a school-based Junior Cycle Student Award (JCSA).

The aim is to switch the focus from a single set of terminal exams, which are blamed for encouraging teaching to test, , to more interactive learning.

The new approach will be  phased in over eight years with different revised subjects gradually introduced.

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