Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 28 September 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills
Leaving Certificate Reform: Discussion with School Management Bodies
Mr. John Curtis:
I concur with some of the points that have been made. I am firmly of the view that we have one of the best educational systems in the world. I would go as far as to say that this country managed the pandemic in the education sphere better, probably, than any other country in the context of the amount of time students spent in school and the way in which we managed the leaving certificate accredited or calculated grades process. I cannot speak highly enough of the teaching cohort we have in our country. We have difficulties on occasion with the teaching unions and, obviously, we have had difficulties in the past with our voluntary secondary schools. The way in which teachers have risen to the challenge of the past couple of years has been exemplary and gives us something very important to build on.
The orals issue is very interesting because the JMB has been of the view for a number of years that we should be changing things around in the orals and in how and when we conduct the examinations. We have asking that the Easter break might be used for a number of reasons.
We are reflecting on what has happened this year. There were a number of pluses. The student voice might concur with our voice in the context of many aspects. As we are discussing the leaving certificate cycle reform, the NCCA has used the phrase revolution not revolution. We are learning as we go through this process. We have learned a great deal in the past couple of years and the next couple of years will be a time for us all to reflect on what we want for our pupils as we move forward.