Problems with this year’s Leaving Cert orals are likely to be addressed when the written papers are marked, according to education expert Arthur Godsil.
The Irish Times reports that significant numbers of students have been marked down in their orals due to shortcomings in the way they were conducted this year.
Due to COVID, this year’s orals were carried out by teachers in schools and marked by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).
Some SEC examiners have warned that teachers did not carry out the 15-minute exam correctly or ask enough mandatory questions.
As a result, the students lost out on marks.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, St Andrew’s Principal Arthur Godsil said the SEC will likely take it into account when compiling the final marks.
“What I predict could happen here is the SEC or the department will take this into account when marking the written paper,” he said.
“In essence, this is a failure of the marking scheme or the application of a marking scheme.
“Every year, marking schemes from different papers are altered to ensure the bell curve is achieved and this, I believe will be no different so my advice is, wait for the moment until you see the overall mark before lodging any appeals.”
He said students should still be offered the chance to re-sit the orals.
“What annoys me is that once again the students are being made to suffer because of a failure of the system and that is just not fair on the kids,” he said.
He said the issue highlights the shortcomings of the Leaving Cert itself and called for a move towards more continuous assessment.
“It goes back to the idea that everything rests on one 15-minute examination for the orals and one written exam and that is just not right after 14 years of learning,” he said.
He said the situation is “extraordinarily unfair” but noted that the “system is extraordinarily unfair in its essence.”
“We can’t allow our hardworking students to be affected negatively because the system doesn’t work,” he said. “It is as simple as that.”
“I know a lot of work is being done on a review of the Leaving Cert and I sincerely hope they make the changes that are necessary to give the students the respect they deserve after so many years of study and all the work they put in.
“The examiners have got to follow procedure and so on but I still maintain that come the written the examination and the results coming out in August, I think this will be dealt with.
“Every year, the marking schemes are altered because a particular paper does not produce the bell curve so they do change these things every year.
“Every year there will be uproar about a particular paper and guess what? When the results come out, sometimes they are even higher.”
You can listen back here: