Junior Cert CSPE paper leads to mistaken identities

Arlene Foster among the ‘challenging choices’ in photo identification question

North’s First  Minister Arlene Foster was the subject of a photo question on the Junior Cert CSPE paper. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

North’s First Minister Arlene Foster was the subject of a photo question on the Junior Cert CSPE paper. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

A photo question on the Junior Cert CSPE paper asking students to identify Northern Ireland’s First Minister left some students scratching their heads.

However, Brendan O’Regan from the Association of CSPE Teachers said the exam was a very fair paper overall.

“There were some unusual questions but other than that the paper was fine.

“There was a question on dog fouling that was a bit left-field. Students would have done animal rights projects but dog fouling was a bit peculiar considering there are other more pressing environmental challenges,” he said.

Mr O’Regan said a photo question where students where asked to identify public figures featured “challenging and unusual choices”.

“There was a question where students were asked to identify public figures and it was very difficult.

“Students were asked to identify Arlene Foster, who would not be that well-known to the students, and Emily Logan, who might not be well-known to students in her current role,” he said.

Ms Foster is Northern Ireland’s First Minister and leader of the DUP.

Emily Logan is the first chief commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the former ombudsman for children.

Clues

“There were clues. Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan had a garda uniform on so she was identifiable, but the other figures weren’t as prominent as they should be,” Mr O’Regan said.

“The examiners should have went for more readily identifiable public figures.

“Many of the questions were very topical. There was one on the refugee crisis which had a human rights emphasis.

“We thought it was a well-balanced paper. CSPE is based on seven concepts and it was well balanced between the seven concepts of CSPE - human dignity, stewardship, development, democracy, interdependence, rights and responsibilities and law.”

The written paper represents 40 per cent of the overall CSPE marks, while the action project counts for 60 per cent.