[Sinn Fein]

4th June 2002

Time for education alternative

Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe has called for radical change to the state education system. Deputy Crowe was speaking in advance of the begining of the Leaving and Junior certificate examinations tomorrow.

Deputy Crowe said:

"Each year we see thousands of students coming under immense pressure before taking part in what is in many cases the defining period of their educational life. It is clear that a single exam, whether it is the Leaving Certificate or the Junior Certificate, is not the best way to adjudicate on five or six years of work.

"There needs to be a radical change to the state education system. There have been numerous alternatives put forward including continuous assessment. An all party oireachtas commitee should be established to appraise the current system and to look at all alternatives. Representatives of teacher, parent and student orgnisations must be central to all of this.

"I wish to extend best wishes to all those taking exams this week. The pressure, I know, is heavy but I would urge students not to panic - whatever happens it is not the end of the world."

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