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While the second-level teacher unions are seeking to maintain State certification and external assessment, we are in favour of changes to enhance the Junior Cycle and support the introduction of new forms of assessment, as long as these assessment components are externally marked.
We agree with the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, that project, portfolio, and practical work, and other evaluations of students, are vital. We also agree that the broadening of assessment reduces the pressure of a terminal written exam. Forcing teachers to grade for State certification will have a negative impact on the student relationship and will lead to inconsistencies between schools, thereby undermining educational standards nationally.
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