| 16.6°C Dublin

Close

Premium


With calculated grades, trust in teachers and schools must take centre stage

Damian Murchan



Close

On the money: Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

On the money: Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

On the money: Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

I doubt if the music of the late American songwriter Kenny Rogers ever made it on to the Leaving Cert music syllabus. He passed away earlier this year and a line in one of his songs speaks to the historic decision by the Government to swap this year's Leaving Cert exams for calculated grades.

In his song 'The Gambler', Rogers sang: "You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run." We've seen a significant gamble play out over the past weeks and the decision in early April to delay the exams until late summer was not an unreasonable first hand to play by the minister, given the public health advice at the time.

Establishing July 29 as a start date provided optimism and challenge to students. Talk of a brief preparatory return to school, social distancing and moving Junior Cert exams aside offered a possible roadmap to the Leaving in late July. Or August.