Dáil Éireann - Volume 541 - 09 October, 2001
Written Answers. - Examinations.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
113. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will expand on his recently reported plans to modernise the leaving certificate. [22996/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): My Department has been engaged with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, NCCA, in an ongoing reform of the leaving certificate examination since the early 1990s. Syllabi for the modern languages, Gaeilge, accounting, business and music have been revised. The implementation of the revised syllabi has, in each case, been supported by extensive in-service provision for teachers. The revised syllabus for leaving certificate English was examined for the first time on 6 June 2001. Revised syllabi for the physical sciences, home economics and biology will be implemented over the next few years. A significant feature of this reform of the leaving certificate is the vocationalisation of curricula, that is, an increased emphasis on those aspects of a subject that will be applicable in the work place.
As well as revisions to the established leaving certificate, new and innovative leaving certificate options are now provided for students. The leaving certificate vocational programme caters for students who want a leaving certificate qualification that prepares them consciously for the needs of the workplace. The leaving certificate applied is provided for students for whom the established leaving certificate is inappropriate. Revised leaving certificate applied syllabi were implemented in the current school year.
The NCCA has currently in place a senior cycle review committee, on which my Department, teacher unions, school management organisations, third level education and the world of work are represented. When its deliberations are completed, comprehensive advice regarding the future shape of senior cycle, including leaving certificate, options and assessment will be presented to me. The advice given to me by the NCCA will then be examined within my Department and discussed with the partners in education before any action is taken. Meanwhile, schools are encouraged to offer as many of the programmes as possible and to take a more holistic view of senior cycle within the school. This approach is supported by the work with schools undertaken by the second level support service funded by my Department.
Dáil Éireann 541 Written Answers. Examinations.