Aontú Limerick concerned that latest Min for Education announcement has been made without agreement with unions

The Aontú Representative for Castletroy & Annacotty Eric Nelligan, is very concerned that the most recent Statement from the Education Minister, Norma Foley does not seem to have been fully accepted by the teaching unions. These disagreements will cause further anxiety and distress to a cohort of young people who had endured an uncertain and turbulent Leaving Cert Cycle.

The ‘Teachers Union of Ireland’ has expressed grave concern on a number of issues with the proposed pathway available to students in their final year in school; of most concerning to the TUI is that the Minister’s decision to apply marks awarded for oral and practical examinations only to the established Leaving Certificate process is regrettable and regressive. The view of the TUI is that marks should also be applied to the SEC Accredited Grades process which they had sought.

In a damaging statement the union asserted that ‘’administrative convenience trumped educational considerations’’. Mr Nelligan elaborates further ‘’ those of us familiar with the education process and the running of the State Exams have been of the opinion that some form of predictive grades was going to be the government solution, we’ve been of this mind-set for 5 or 6 weeks now. It has taken Minister Foley nearly two months to announce that ‘Accredited Grades’ was the preferred mode to complete the Leaving Certificate cycle and it has been done without the full support of the Teachers who will have a major influence on its success, this is not partnership’’.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, is also ‘bitterly disappointed’ with elements of the declared solution, that the ‘Accredited grading process is not underpinned in any way by externally validated elements such as coursework, projects etc. SEC Accredited Grades will prove a very challenging proposition for all concerned given the lack of credible data’

The ASTI feel that what was announced today should never have been considered beyond being a contingency measure should the Leaving Certificate have to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

‘’This whole process has been an exercise mismanagement by the Minister for Education where the people we should be concerned most about, the under pressure Leaving Cert students, are left in a constant state of unease and in some cases down right panic’’ concludes Mr Nelligan.