Thursday, 8 June 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
49. Mr. McDowell asked the Minister for Education and Science if, in light of the concerns expressed by the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland, his Department still plans to press ahead with proposals that would see teachers examine their own students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16124/00]
86. Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for Education and Science his views on whether systems of continuous assessment can be developed for use in the leaving certificate; and the plans, if any, he has to develop this approach. [16179/00]
A discussion paper was prepared by my Department in relation to assessment issues at junior certificate as a further contribution to the consultation process begun with the circulation of the Junior Cycle Review Progress Report by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment – NCCA.
The discussion paper notes that, in the case of the leaving certificate, assessment leads to certification for selection and that the integrity of such a system must be beyond question. Consequently in such a high stakes environment the concerns of teachers, including members of the ASTI, in relation to participation in school-based assessment are understandable. The paper argues that in the case of the junior certificate there should be scope for change because its value no longer lies predominately in providing certification for selection.
In relation to continuous assessment, such a system could of course be developed for use in the certificate examinations but it must be realised that there are serious practical constraints in releasing teachers from school if such assessment were to be conducted externally. Continuous assessment is in reality only a viable option if it is school based.
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