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Assessment will ‘compromise integrity’ of exams – teachers

Neil Curran

BY C.J.McGINLEY

WITH teachers set to stage a one day strike on December 2 the Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has said she will not row back on the issue of external assessment.

Parents and pupils face disruption after members of the ASTI and TUI executive committees voted to hold work stoppages on December 2 and another date in January to be decided.

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Speaking to the Donegal News ASTI National Executive Council member Mr Neil Curran said the main objection by teachers was the new assessment model which would ‘compromise the integrity’ of the Junior Certificate examination.

A teacher at St Columba’s in Stranorlar he has been elected to represent over 700 ASTI members in Donegal-Sligo-Leitrim.

“The minister is now offering us a 60/40 split with 60 per cent tested in a terminal exam at the end of 3rd year and the 40 per cent as continuous assessment which she wants marked by the students’ own teachers,” Mr Curran said.

“We feel that this will compromise the integrity of the exam. Teachers could end up assessing their own children and those of neighbours , fellow teachers and friends. We think that this will put us under pressure from these people to mark papers in a particular way. As a result the integrity of the Junior Cert will be suspect and open to influence by people.

“Many parents I have talked to also agree that the inherent fairness of external correction should stay. At the moment the exam system is one of the few things in this country which cannot be manipulated and parents have faith in it,” he added.

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