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Leaving Cert reform required – Doherty

15 August, 2007

Speaking today as over 54,000 Leaving Cert students are receiving their results Sinn Féin's Senator Pearse Doherty wished each and every one well but severely criticised the Leaving Cert examination and called for immediate reform.

The Donegal Senator said, "This morning is yet another traumatic day for our young students to endure. There has been a considerable amount of hype whipped up around Leaving Cert time and this has put an evident strain on young students.

"Sinn Féin is seeking an immediate reform of the Leaving Cert Examination and has consistently called for a system of continual assessment to be introduced in all subjects to relieve students of the annual two week period of intense examinations.

"The current situation is flawed whereby students are pitted against one another in the race for limited third level courses. The playing field is unfair as students from well off backgrounds can invariably afford to attend so-called elite fee-paying schools and can afford grinds. This educational rat-race is a representation of our capitalist society.

"Students should be empowered by education and enjoy their experience instead of having to endure sleepless nights cramming or fretting about what topics will come up in the one-off exams that may determine one's future options.

"While urgent action needs to be taken regarding mathematics and science subjects it is heartening to see an increase higher level Irish language students." Deireadh

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