Leaving Cert Result Manipulation Must Be Guarded Against
Speaking in the Dáil, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called on the Minister for Education to take all necessary measures to combat manipulation in the administration of this year’s leaving cert and welcomed the indemnification of teachers by the State for the purposes of the leaving cert – something Deputy Tóibín had called for weeks ago.
Tóibín: “I want to welcome first of all the indemnification of teachers by the state with regards the leaving cert. This is something that we in Aontú called for weeks ago. It is absolutely critical and we welcome it. The Dept should identify how much it has set aside to deal with this.
Speaking to teachers in my constituency, there are still many concerns that the New Leaving Cert System has the potential to be corrupted. Now I want to emphasise from the start that I do believe that the vast majority of all stakeholders within the education system will do their best to ensure as fair a marking outcome as possible. I want to pay tribute to all of these educational workers in this time of national need.”
“However, in every system human nature plays a part and in a minority of situations will lead to difficulties. I can foresee a situation where whistle blowers will emerge to identify problems with your system. It has already been reported to me that a Principal and School Board of Management sought to elevate grades, It has already been reported to me that parents and students have sought to elevate grades. In small towns and villages this is a very difficult issue. I am also worried that that negative relationships could turn into lower grades for students.”
“It has also been reported to me of a teacher giving paid grinds in school to students in other teachers leaving cert class. And that teacher openly attending alignment meetings and commenting on the students who pay them. I have been told of a school insisting that teachers go into schools to meet colleagues, even though your document says meetings can be done remotely. Younger teachers or teachers who need CIDs or teaching hours next year can be under pressure to be compliant. I want to reiterate that these allegations that I have received are relation to a small number of schools and I know that the majority of educational stakeholders are doing their best. The Minister has embarked upon a marking system. He has ignored the request of the unions to rely on actual exams such as Summer Christmas and Mocks.”
Can I ask the Minister what process is in place to prevent these problems. Also importantly given that we may have to live with this virus for a while, is the Minister working on a long term fix to this to prevent the same adhoc process being put in place next year.