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We must get new exam right

A RADICAL overhaul of the Junior Cert exam was announced today by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn. The minister's plans are based on recommendations by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

Students will now be assessed continuously over the three-year cycle by their teachers and will sit annual standardised exams.

The Junior Cert arrangements mean students will no longer sit a formal State exam at the end of third year.

The new programme will include traditional subjects and a number of short courses in areas like digital media, Chinese language and entrepreneurship.

The time for a more appropriate exam for the 21st century with a better education experience for pupils and parents is long overdue.

The new plan puts much responsibility on teachers. With students' futures at stake, it is vital we get it right from the start.