Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills

Leaving Certificate Reform: Discussion with School Management Bodies

Photo of Malcolm ByrneMalcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the witnesses for their presentations. I was stuck by what Mr. Irwin said about how, particularly at junior cycle level, the focus has been on the development of skills and competencies, rather than on the traditional focus on getting through the leaving certificate examinations. The students who will sit their leaving certificate in the next number of years will probably not retire until the 2070s. We want to equip and prepare them for a period of digital and technological change that I do not think any of us has experienced. Even what we will see over the next decade will be phenomenal. Talking about that digital and technological change, how do we equip students? What skills and competencies do students need?

The traditional leaving certificate model has been broadly the same since 1925, except for the last two years where we have had a mixed assessment model. What is Mr. Irwin's view on the model used for the 2021 leaving certificate?


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