Rethinking the Leaving Certificate


A chara, – While Peter Heeran (Letters, September 4th) is certainly not the first person to call for a rethink of the Leaving Cert exam, it is disappointing that this convincing and challenging account of his recent experience has not evoked a response from your readers. This silence prompts us to question why.

One suspects that those with hangovers from the stalemate at junior cycle are asking “What chance do we have with the Leaving if we can’t reach agreement on the reform of junior cycle?” Others, including politicians, will invoke the familiar refrain used in response to previous calls of this nature – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” And there are those who believe that alternative approaches to assessment that work perfectly well in other countries are not appropriate in the insular Irish environment. Student voice is an essential aspect of democratic education systems and the disillusionment of this passionate and articulate young man deserves a response. Have his peers been rendered speechless by the system? – Is mise,


Australian Catholic


Brisbane, Australia.