All The Junior Cert posts
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    Junior Cycle Reform Strike. What do you think? studyclix

    For many years the Department of Education had hoped to make changes to the junior cert that would see a move toward school-based assessment in place of the traditional junior cert exams. One of the features of the proposed changes is that teachers would be required to grade their own students work as part of their final grade at the end of 3rd year. The majority of teachers are against these changes mainly because they think that assessment should be done by an external anonymous examiner. This has led to strike action, the first of which means all schools will close on December 2nd.

    This week we asked teachers and students to tell us their thoughts ahead of the strike. Here are some of our findings:

    • 60% of students surveyed would have a problem with their teacher marking their junior cert exams

    • 76% of students surveyed felt that their relationship with respective teachers would negatively impact their exam grades.

    • Given the choice between the Junior Cert being corrected by their teacher or by an external examiner, 76% said ‘external examiner’

    You can read a full report on all our findings on our blog page at

    What are your thoughts ahead of the teacher strike and do you agree with our findings that you should be graded by an external examiner?

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      I agree. I think teachers will be biased over their students and would mark their exams so that they get more marks than they really should (or maybe the other way around). I think it's good that many students and teachers are against this changes, and that they believe an external examiner should correct the exams. I also believe in this notion. At first, when I heard about the strikes taking place, I didn't think it was necessary. After I heard about teachers grading their own students' exam for the JCSA, I felt it was time for the teacher's voices to be heard. I personally believe it was a good decision to have these strikes take place (even if a day of education was at the expense) because it's the only way to bring about another change. The questions I would be asking now is: if the Department of Education wants to discontinue the old JC format, and teachers are feeling uncomfortable about having to assess their students' work, what should the new Junior Cycle course be like? If the government wants annual examinations to end, and teachers are against continual assessment, what would make both sides happy? I would like to know people's thoughts about this.

      By the way, I'm currently in third year, and I am part of the last (or second last, I'm not exactly sure) group to do the old Junior Cert, so I am grateful that an anonymous examiner will correct our exams.

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      whats wrong with the present jc??????? its worked so far , the government dont know what their at right now they should sit down properly and discuss this!!! im going to scream the next time our teachers complain about this..... its all they ever do anymore.... id love to tell them to just get on with it and let us learn!!!i think strike is the right action but do it during break because students dont benefit from a day off!!!(even though you can sleep in) and i totally agree with dazzla16 on this im in junior cert too and as dazzla16 said '' I am grateful that an anonymous examiner will correct our exams.'' #gettingnervous as june is coming quick but i am totally prepared....... roll on jc >_< and b.t.w thanks for listening ive been holding that back for a while its good to get it out in the open!!! >_<

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      I think that this system is very biased, but the main problem is that then a student has to give his teacher good impressions through out the whole year. Say if a student doesn't do his homework in a very appropriate way, that doesn't mean that he will not get good marks in his jc, and if that is the case then the teacher will automatically think that oh, this student is not a very bright student and isn't that well mannered, so we should give him less than 50% even though he got like 75%. No! No! But thanks to our teachers and students that this reform has not taken place. No matter how bright the student is, even if he fails all of his house exams, which is exaggerated, but even if he does, if he got an A in his jc, he is a successful person.

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      well said hamzamugees i totally agree! i think this new junior cert is a disgrace and it doesnt make me feel proud to be irish to see all these strikes and arguments over us students ( though it is quite flattering!!!!!)

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      I agree that the junior cert is a disgrace and it is not right that teachers have to correct their students exams.

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      I think that the current Junior cert is fine and works well but I don't think that the teachers are striking because they want their students to get an honest grade, I believe it is because they are paid a few thousand to do corrections and mark the exam papers and if the assessments go ahead they will have to do more work for the same pay, now I'm not saying all teachers have this mindset as some do genuinely care about their students but most only care about how much cash is in their pockets.

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      But I still believe that the assessments are a bad Idea as they are extremely biased and inaccurate :)

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      im all for continual assessment but i know personally that some teachers might actually mark me down

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      sadhbhRedmond i totally agree they want the money,,,, they dont care about us...........................

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      I don't think that teachers should correct the exams because they will be bias and some teachers mark very hard and inaccurate because they want us to get a higher score in the junior cert.

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      I think the Irish Govt are trying too hard to change the junior cert, First introducing the new Project maths course that put down alot of students in 2012 with their maths capabilities from the syllabus they learned from earlier years. And now this.

      Alot of other countries have examinations and not continuous assessment. Alot of other countries do not have the mathematics system that we have implemented now. These other countries don't even know what project maths may be.

      I'm not saying that all teachers and students argue with eachother however,

      Everyone will have someone that they either like or don't like and I don't think it would be fair on the student, at all.The whole point in having an examination number in the State Exams is anonymity, the examiners don't and will never know who's work they are correcting.

      Examination students are put under alot of pressure by their own teachers in the year, I find as a third year myself. If I was doing an exam to find that my teachers would be the ones correcting them, I would say i wouldn't get the marks that I should be getting in some subjects.

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      I think it's absolutely ridiculous that teachers don't want to correct they're own students work because it might be biased. You are a teacher it's your job to give your student the grade they deserve and if you can't do that then you shouldn't have become a teacher at all!!!!!!

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      I don't think that teachers should mark their students work as they could be biased. E.G their own son/daughter

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      I suppose in some cases you are right

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      It is a bad idea to change the education system.

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      what is wrong with the old jc? the new jc is so biased and it doesnt help that students are now worrying what result they are going to get because of what their teacher thinks

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      I'd be so worried of what my teacher thinks of me that I would leave a lot of blanks... like if I didn't know the answer to something in the JC I'd write down anything for attempt marks but I wouldn't do that if the teacher was correcting bc I don't want them to think I'm stupid or anything...

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      I'm 100% in agreement with changes to the Junior Cert system, but not to the current proposed system. The whole education system in Ireland is flawed, and is so focused on making the children of Ireland employable rather than actually teaching them valuable things that could be actually useful in a job. If it's to change at all, it needs to be done straight away rather than incrementally. That way people who get caught in the crossfire won't fall down.

      Take for example the project maths swap. Conorfinn1 said earlier that it brought down the marks of those who sat their junior certs in 2012, that's because it was introduced to their course the year of the exam. I'm on the fence about project maths or the old system, but to be honest I don't really care as long as the system takes massive leaps away from the current system.

      There's sooo many factors that can influence performance on the junior cert, having a bad day, having a fight with a friend the day before, not being able to think straight for whatever reason, etc. If a student is fully capable of getting an A in a subject like maths then they should be achieving that, but if everything went wrong on that day, there will be an effect on their exam and their answer.

      I want change to the Junior Cert to happen quickly. Yes, the Junior Cert may only be an introduction to systems like the Leaving Cert, but the same problems are applicable to the LC aswell. If you fail an LC exam that you're capable of passing with flying colours, that's going to effect your future in the fact you mightn't be able to do the course you always dreamed of etc, and in order to resit it requires another years worth of work.

      Just my two cents. Feel free to challenge me on it, need something to debate now I'm done with English :P

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