The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents 20,500 teachers and lecturers in second level, adult/further education and at third level, has wished all students the best of luck ahead of the 2022 State examinations.
The union has praised the resilience of students given the disruption caused by the pandemic and has said that public trust in the State examinations must be maintained in any new developments.
‘The State examinations are of course important, but students should remember that they are not defined as a person by any set of examination results,’ TUI President Martin Marjoram said.
Keep things in perspective – alternative routes always available
‘Students and those around them should keep things in perspective over the course of the written examinations. Generally speaking, students will have worked hard and will find that they are better prepared than they might think. Common sense is important at this time – students should take care of themselves. In practical terms, they should eat properly, sleep properly and make sure to take regular exercise and breaks from their studies.’
‘Even if they do not get the results that they want, there has never been a wider range of alternative routes they can take to reach their career of choice.’
Resilience of the class of 2022
‘It must be acknowledged that the class of 2022 has progressed through an extremely challenging period due to the effects of the pandemic. In this regard, the TUI advocated for and secured adjustments to this year’s examinations to take account of the disruption to teaching and learning. Students should be proud of the resilience and innovation that they have shown to date.’
Mature students and those who only acquired English recently
‘We pay particular tribute to mature students who took the brave decision to return to education. Also, many students sitting the examinations may only have acquired English recently and deserve special credit.’
The support of parents, guardians and teachers
‘The unstinting support of parents and guardians should not be forgotten today, nor should the commitment and dedication of teachers in ensuring that all students get a fair opportunity to realise their own particular academic potential.’
Public trust in the State examinations must be maintained
‘TUI welcomed many elements of the recent announcement in relation to Senior Cycle reform, but State Certification and external assessment are key to all developments and must be retained. Fairness for all students and the significant public trust that the current system enjoys cannot be put at risk. The provision of the required additional resources will be essential for any changes to be successful.’
‘The TUI has always been in favour of additional components of assessment such as orals, aurals, project and portfolio work. Right now, 27 of 41 subjects at Senior Cycle have second (and sometimes third) components of assessment. These are externally assessed by the State Examinations Commission and this protects their integrity and reliability.’
CAO points obsession
‘It is worth highlighting that the excessive focus on CAO points is not a flaw of the current Senior Cycle itself. It is an unfortunate by-product of our national obsession with progression to third level, an obsession that distorts the true meaning of education and invites unfair and invalid comparisons between schools.’