Thursday, 5 April 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
145. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science the measures which are being put in place to offset the disadvantage incurred by leaving certificate pupils in schools affected by the ASTI strike action vis-à-vis those in schools which were unaffected; if any arrangements are being planned to cater for this disadvantage in the examination system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10323/01]
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): In the Labour Court clarification on 29 March 2001, it was acknowledged that a major effect of the ASTI dispute has been the loss of teaching time by all students in the affected schools. Both parties were strongly of the view that measures were needed to ensure that students affected by the dispute were not put at an ongoing disadvantage vis-à-vis other students and steps should be taken to ensure that the current year's school programme would be completed for all students.
In this regard the Labour Court recommended that funding be provided for this purpose and that any teacher involved in the dispute, who is certified by the school as having contributed in full to the completion of the school programme, be paid the sum of £1,750.
ASTI has agreed to put the terms of the Labour Court's recommendation and clarification to a ballot of its members. I am hopeful that there will be a positive outcome to the ballot and that the school programme will be completed for all students.
The examination process cannot be used as a basis for compensation for loss of tuition time. The integrity of the examination process is based on the preparation of test instruments based on syllabi and marking schemes devised for each test instrument and refined based on their application to samples of scripts prior to finalising the marking scheme. The same marking scheme is then applied to all scripts in a particular subject.
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