There’s no doubt that LC reform is required, it’s a horrific end of year marathon that’s usually poorly prepared for and badly executed. If there is a chance now to spread exams out one week at a time that would be a huge benefit to anyone doing the LC. There might also be good reason for dropping one or two subjects, or letting students sit their best four subjects.
However cancelling the exams is the talk of privilege, those who expect to take a college place without earning it. This would be a catastrophe for students who might do poorly in class but are self motivated to achieve results. The mock exams are the first real wake up call for most students, it shows how much material needs to be covered and what preparation needs to be done.
The idea of teachers influencing grades without independent assessment is really dangerous to the equality of our education system. Results based on subjective opinion is open to all manner of abuse, there is no equality in allowing teachers guestimate grades for their students.
Also consider if the top colleges are given the opportunity to grant entry based on private school recommendations and interviews, you will be damn sure that money will get people further than hard work.
The CAO system isn’t perfect, anyone close to education will tell you about its flaws and how it disadvantages outliers. But it’s time to cop on and start thinking about how the leaving cert should be done. There needs to be more thought given to students who are working to over-come the odds and fight for college places, that’s what the CAO system was designed to do in the first place. What the CAO is not is a democracy where a student survey that suits 60% of students gets to decide the fate for the remaining 40%. The wave of support for cancelling the exams has silenced any student who disagrees with hitting the auto-eject button. Anyone who has ever sat an exam will know there is pressure involved, an easy out will always gain more support than the option that rewards hard work.
Sure there might be a more illuminated path for someone who can afford grinds and access material online, but cancelling the LC will be a huge barrier to everyone else who travels the road alone.
The leaving cert is a person’s first opportunity to make their own way in life, it’s the first step in an individual journey. For anyone who might be sitting the LC it’s time to start looking at how it should be done and rally behind destiny.