Irish Second-Level Students’ Union
PRESS STATEMENT *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
State Examinations 2010 08/06/10
On the eve of the first day of the 2010 state examinations, thousands of Junior and Leaving Cert students across the country are sitting down trying to get as much last minute study done as possible – hurriedly cramming as many home economics facts and paragraphs of prepared English essays off by heart in the hope that they will be able to adapt these essays to suit the questions on tomorrow’s English papers.
The sad reality is that in forty-eight or even twenty-four hours time, much of this information will be gone from their memories forever, replaced with quotes for Leaving Cert English Paper two, Junior Cert Irish essays and quotes, mathematical proofs and geographical facts which in turn will be forgotten by the weekend when it comes to cramming for next week’s exams. The current Irish second-level examinations system encourages rote-learning to such an extent that it is detrimental to our students, affecting their ability to adapt at third-level.
The ISSU welcomes the current review of the Junior Cycle being undertaken by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment but urges the Department of Education and Skills to act on the NCCA’s recommendations as soon as they are made available. The ISSU also calls on the Minister for Education and Skills to reconsider the review of the Leaving Certificate which was recently shelved due to its estimated cost of €100 million. Let’s face facts; the Leaving Certificate doesn’t adequately prepare students for third-level or life outside of education so although the initial cost of an overhaul may seem high, the eventual benefits to our students and to the ‘knowledge-economy’ that the government so often states that it strives for will far out-weigh the initial cost. We need to encourage more creative and dynamic learning at second-level, the ability to rote-learn a paragraph isn’t a fundamental life-skill.
The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union will be keeping an online blog during the state examinations with daily contributions from Junior Cert, Leaving Cert Applied and Leaving Cert students from across the country as well as official commentary on each paper from the ISSU.
Top tips on exam best practices as well as how to keep stress levels to a minimum can also be found on www.issu.ie
On behalf of all the ISSU team, we would like to wish all students beginning the state examinations tomorrow, the very best of luck.
Notes to Editor:
ISSU is the national umbrella body for school Student Councils, aiming to represent and connect Irish second-level students the length and breadth of the country, ensuring that the voice of the Irish second-level student is heard and striving for innovation and democracy within the education system. ISSU is a not-for profit student rights organisation.
At ISSU we believe that young people are not merely citizens in waiting – we deserve better, we deserve to be heard. We can and will contribute positively to society. It is so important that our voices, views and opinions are (i) heard (ii) listened to (iii) and most importantly respected. This is what ISSU is all about. We’re here for you.
Our main aims include:
- To provide training and development of second-level school Student Councils, in conjunction with relevant bodies.
- To develop policies on issues affecting Irish second-level students and bring the needs and rights of students to the attention of the relevant authorities.
- To provide a transparent, democratic and reliable organisation.
- To work in collaboration with other educational institutions and bodies both in Ireland and Europe.
- To work closely with educational curriculum policy makers and teachers’ unions to continually develop a transparent, fair and modern education system.
- And most importantly, to give students a structured platform through which the voice of the Irish second-level student will be heard.
ISSU represents students at a national level and is affiliated to; the WHEEL, NYCI, Anna Lindh Foundation, Stand up for Education Alliance, Children’s Mental Health Coalition and the Children’s Rights Alliance. On an international level, ISSU works closely with OBESSU. ISSU also works with curriculum development teams and various advisory bodies.