Department focused on State exams going ahead this summer

Posted in Teaching on March 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education has said there is no intention at this moment to cancel or postpone either the Junior or Leaving Certificate this summer. Despite a report in a Sunday newspaper a statement from the Department of Education says it ‘remains completely focused on running both sets of state exams’ … (more)

[RTÉ News, 22 March]

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The Irish Times view on disruption to education: Keep calm and stay focused

Posted in Teaching on March 21st, 2020 by steve

“Like so much else during the coronavirus crisis, our education system is in uncharted waters. Parents and teachers have no firm of idea of when schools will reopen. Junior and Leaving Cert students do not know if they will have exams during the summer …” (more)

[Irish Times, 21 March]

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Junior Cert could be cancelled to prioritise Leaving Cert written exams

Posted in Teaching on March 20th, 2020 by steve

“The Department of Education is considering cancelling the summer Junior Cert exams for tens of thousands of students in a bid to prioritise the Leaving Cert if schools do not reopen. The move is one of a number of contingency plans being examined by officials in response to the coronavirus threat. The Minister for Education said this week that his department is currently working on the assumption that the Leaving Cert will go ahead as planned …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 March]

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The 12 education issues set to dominate 2020

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on January 7th, 2020 by steve

IrelandIndustrial strife resumes. After a couple of years of industrial peace, the prospect of disruption looms. Two-tier pay rates introduced in 2011 put ‘newly qualified teachers’ on inferior rates of pay. A decade later, the issue still hasn’t been fully resolved …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 January]

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State Examinations Commission appeals for teachers to mark exams

Posted in Teaching on May 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education authorities have launched an urgent appeal for teachers to mark the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert with just over a week to go before the start of the exams. The State Examinations Commission has asked principals to assist in hiring teachers – including retired teachers and newly qualified teachers – to mark exams which are due to get underway in under a fortnight …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 May]

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Examiner shortage poses ‘challenge’ to State exam standards

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A shortage of teachers prepared to work as examiners is posing a ‘significant challenge’ to the maintenance of standards in correcting the State exams, according to internal records. The State Examinations Commission, which has responsibility for organising the Junior and Leaving Cert, has been struggling in recent years to recruit teachers to correct exam papers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 May]

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Education Minister signals he’s open to history being core Junior Cert subject

Posted in Teaching on January 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education minister Joe McHugh has signalled he’s open to history being made a core subject for Junior Cert students telling the Dáil that it’s ‘vital’ young people learn from the past. He said it’s important that the historic contexts of Brexit and events being marked in Centenary Commemorations are understood …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 22 January]

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The return of history as a core subject?

Posted in Teaching on November 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The decision of the new Minister for Education Joe McHugh to review the decision to make history an optional subject at Junior Certificate is very welcome. History should be restored as a core curriculum subject without delay, as this academic discipline has essential values relevant to modern Ireland and to promoting an understanding of the importance of active citizenship, social inclusion and diversity in our society …” (more)

[Brian Murphy, Irish Times, 20 November]

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Decision to make history optional for the Junior Cert to be reviewed

Posted in Teaching on November 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The decision to make history an optional subject at Junior Cert level is going to be reviewed, according to Education Minister Joe McHugh. Speaking at the party’s Ard Fheis this evening, the Donegal TD said …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 17 November]

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English grades are ‘back to normal’ in Junior Cert results

Posted in Teaching on September 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“More than 62,000 Junior Cert students are celebrating their results today, although many middle-ground students will be disappointed there is no repeat of the bumper share-out of ‘honours’ grades that marked the introduction of the new-style English written exam last year. At English higher level, there was a slight increase in the proportion of candidates achieving a ‘distinction’ – the equivalent of a traditional A – while the number awarded a ‘higher merit’ (75-90%) is broadly similar to last year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 12 September]

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When you are obliged to challenge colleagues in public

Posted in Teaching on August 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I wrote this letter to the Irish Times the other day. Despite the fact that the letter challenged, in public, the work of DCU colleagues, I felt I had to do it because I can see where the conversation is heading. People will use the fact that school-leavers lack some very easy-to-teach skills (like using scientific databases rather than Google, or referencing sources properly) to justify doing a Junior Cycle on the Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Greg Foley, An Irish Blog about Education, 10 August]

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Teachers want 30% pay rise for correcting State exams

Posted in Teaching on June 23rd, 2018 by steve

“Teachers’ unions have called for urgent talks with the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to address a joint pay claim and avoid it having to hire individuals without teaching qualifications to correct State exam papers next year. The call for talks comes after it emerged that a shortage of available qualified teachers has forced to the SEC to recruit individuals without any teaching qualifications to correct some of this year’s Junior and Leaving Cert papers …” (more)

[Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 22 June]

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People without teaching qualifications to mark exams

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2018 by steve

“The State Examinations Commission is hiring individuals without any teaching qualifications to correct students’ Junior and Leaving Cert papers due to a shortage of qualified staff. The development has sparked concerns over the standard of correcting and accusations that the integrity of the State exams is at risk …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 June]

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Higgins is right that history should be compulsory for Junior Cert

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2018 by steve

“After he became Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar was quick to hire historian Patrick Geoghegan to assist him in his new role. In the Dáil in June last year, Varadkar said: ‘I have hired somebody who is a professor of history. I have a great interest in history which I believe is the study of the future because few things have not happened previously …'” (more)

[Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times, 5 May]

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Demand for 30% hike as exam pay is lower than minimum wage

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 6th, 2018 by steve

“Teachers have voted overwhelmingly to demand a 30% increase in the rates of pay for those marking and supervising the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams. Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) members voted to increase an enhanced pay request to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) from 20% to 30% …” (more)

[Ralph Riegel, Independent, 6 April]

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‘Impending catastrophe’ for Junior and Leaving Cert exams if rate of pay for State examiners not increased

Posted in Teaching on April 5th, 2018 by steve

“Teachers have voted overwhelmingly to demand a 30% increase in the rates of pay for those marking and supervising the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams. Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) members agreed to increase an enhanced pay request to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) from 20% to 30% …” (more)

[Ralph Riegel, Independent, 5 April]

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State exams are a rote learning memory test and aren’t serving our children’s future needs

Posted in Teaching on March 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The current system primarily based on ‘one-off testing’ – namely Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations – reflects more as a memory test suited to rote learning rather than genuinely assessing a student’s learning, knowledge, ability or acumen for a subject …” (more)

[Geoffrey Browne, TheJournal.ie, 12 March]

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Education Committee to discuss continuous assessment for State Examinations

Posted in Teaching on March 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Committee on Education and Skills will focus on continuous assessment for State Examinations at its meeting on Tuesday, 6 March 2018. Attending the meeting are: representatives from the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI); Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI); Union of Students in Ireland (USI); and the National Parents’ Council Post-Primary …” (more)

[Houses of the Oireachtas, 6 March]

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Exam body failed to budget for rise in student numbers

Posted in Teaching on December 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A failure to budget for a growing number of students sitting exams has been blamed for mounting losses at the State body which oversees the Leaving and Junior Certificate tests. The State Examinations Commission has reported that the size of its annual deficit more than tripled last year to over €2.2m …” (more)

[Seán McCárthaigh, Irish Examiner, 26 December]

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Study suggests overhaul of how maths is taught at primary level

Posted in Teaching on October 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Children’s progress in maths at the age of nine has a major influence through to Junior Certificate preparations and suggests a need to overhaul how it is taught at primary level, a leading education researcher says …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 19 October]

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