Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills

Leaving Certificate Curriculum Reform: Discussion

4:00 pm

Photo of Maria ByrneMaria Byrne (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank all the speakers. As some of what I wanted to ask was covered already, I will not go back over it. I agree with Deputy Funchion on continuous assessment. It has to be brought in somewhere. When I studied for the leaving certificate examinations, one read everything and everything was put up on the board. One learned it and took it down. Those days have changed.

On Ms Ní Chonghaile's statements, I have highlighted here the life skills training and preparation for the working world. This ties in with what Mr. Tony Donohoe from IBEC said. IBEC's statement claims the development of key skills at all levels of the education system has been a priority of business for many years. That has to be brought back to education. There is now an effort to introduce skills or training for transition year, for example, but perhaps it needs to be considered for the leaving certificate also. Much more emphasis is being put on apprenticeships, skills and training now. Perhaps some sort of complementary programme needs to be introduced at second level.

On the STEM subjects, Ms Ní Chonghaile said there may be too much emphasis. Where I am from, Limerick, they are finding there are not enough pupils taking up the STEM subjects. We have many engineering companies that are very anxious for people to train. They need people to do the STEM courses. There has to be a balance. I would like to hear how the Department will encourage people to take up the STEM subjects.

One of the speakers said the subject of art has not been reviewed since the 1970s. It is a very popular subject. It opens many doors in terms of creativity, including in fashion design. It is a subject that needs to be revamped.


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