01 Feb Statement on Junior & Leaving Cert. Examinations
The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is very disappointed in the proposals by the Minister and Department of Education recommending against a hybrid option for this year’s Leaving Certificate exams. The Junior and Leaving Cert. students of 2022 have had two full years of disrupted learning, and unsurprisingly the majority of them called for a hybrid option again this year (ISSU survey). This was echoed by many others including a strong call from the Ombudsman for Children. The mental health impact on these young people cannot be ignored. The elimination of choice this year shows a disregard for young people’s voices being included within the conversation. When making decisions on issues like this, we should always do what is best for the children and young people – their needs and rights should be paramount and their voices matter.
The irony is that in tandem with the pandemic, there has been a major review of Senior Cycle underway where almost all submissions have acknowledged the need for change, and a move away from our over-reliance on timed terminal exams. While a calculated grades process similar to last year may have had challenges, this was a huge missed opportunity for lasting innovation beyond the pandemic.
While the past two years have been challenging they also drove much innovation and demonstrated how quickly we can adapt to significant change. We hope that the much-needed change to Senior Cycle can be expedited, and not further slowed down by those resistant to change.
There has been acknowledgment through the pandemic of the resilience shown by young people to adapt during such uncertain times. It is time to acknowledge the act of perseverance of these young people to perform within a system which does not always allow them the opportunity to work to their strengths or meet their individual needs.
DAI’s submission on Senior Cycle Reform is available below: