John Walshe: Evolution of exam into national selection process
What have we learnt since a major ESRI report in 1996 revealed intolerable levels of stress among our Leaving Cert students, especially girls?
Not a lot, it seems. The main change is that good grades have become easier to get as teachers and students learn how to play the exam game by focusing on what will come up on the papers -- and to hell with everything else. What's suffering, apart from students' health, is their education. Teachers are increasingly teaching to the test and the broad 'holistic' education promised to students is being narrowed.
We know that physical education activities are significantly reduced in schools in the Leaving Cert year but other aspects of students' personal and social development are also put on hold.