In his letter to the editor, ‘Leaving Cert should not define anybody’ (Irish Examiner, May 9), Paul Horan dips his personalised oar into the unique waves of challenge facing the current Leaving Cert conundrum.
He might better fully acknowledge the pervasive reality of the ‘once-in-a-century’ pandemic prevailing apace, before launching into his dissertation on educational complexions and creative computations therein. He splashes around the Pádraig Pearse creative imagination mode of educational templates in a manner unbecoming to this precise moment in time, albeit that Pearse had indeed a valid and valuable take on creativity within the zone for sure..for sure.
This year’s Leaving Cert denouement has few universal options to satisfy everyone concerned in the ‘fray’ — students, teachers, Dept of Education, CAO system, etc. Any eventual decision on assessment criteria and results is inevitably flawed from some standpoint and nobody, bar none, is contentedly satisfied with the suggestions on offer, but one has to honestly acknowledge that all concerned are trying to accommodate a disparate array of considerations within a desperate scenario of risk and restriction.
Is this the time to pillory the “murder-machine” that Pearse illuminated so eloquently? Doubtful.
Given that societies everywhere are grappling with a fierce and formidable foe that is Covid-19, one could perhaps opt to demure before wading in to proffer radical overhaul. Painting the ship during a ‘tempestuous’ storm is hardly appropriate to the immediate ‘survival’ task-at-hand. In time, one could, of course, pay some attention to Pearse’s prognostications when collective head-space allows, but that time is not now, not at all.
Mr Horan liberally quotes his own career-path odyssey as something of an inspirational advisory to the student cohort and educational hierarchy, supposedly revealing that there are plenty of other pathways to fulfilment and achievement. Using that as a basis to challenge the core educational frameworks currently pertaining is a tad shallow for any comprehensive transformation, albeit impressive in itself.
It seems that the key challenge at handis to do well by the current batch of students and teachers who are presented with this rare impasse, so that, as best we can, we try to suitably honour the endeavours and aspirations of all concerned. By any standards, this is a seriously loaded gauntlet thrown down to all and sundry by Covid-19. Those involved are doing their best.
Let’s hope fairness and balance can prevail to rescue comfort, satisfaction and safety for all amid the flux and frazzled.