Time to ditch the Leaving Cert?


Madam, – In favour of HPAT, Louise Holden (Education Today, November 24th) writes that it “was introduced to evaluate a candidate’s ability to use knowledge rather than just learn things off by rote” and that “those who oppose these tests say they undermine the Leaving Cert and have not been properly researched for use in the Irish system.”

On the previous page, DCU’s e-literate President, Ferdinand Von Prondzynski, suggests that the same Leaving Cert encourages surface learning rather than the deep learning that can lead to lifelong learning. The potential of lifelong learning is one of the principles being considered in the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) investigation of possible changes to the senior cycle. Is it time to ditch the Leaving Cert as a pointless exercise, replacing it with HPAT equivalents for all third-level entry as suggested by Kate Holmquist (Give Me A Break, November 10th)? – Yours, etc,


Post-grad research student,

Department of Education and Professional Studies,

Faculty of Education and Health Sciences,

University of Limerick,