Minister Quinn announces name for reformed Junior Cycle 15.1.2014Ainm nua ar an tSraith Shóisearach fógartha ag an Aire Oideachais 15.1.2014

Jill Mc Mahon

15/01/2014

Uncategorized

Minister for Education and Skills has announced that the new name for the reformed Junior Certificate will be the JCSA or Junior Cycle Student Award.

Minister Quinn said, “The overhaul of junior cycle is long over-due and much needed. The new JCSA will put students, rather than exams, at the centre of the three year cycle.

Minister Quinn continued, “Most parents and teachers that I meet are supportive of the need to overhaul junior cycle – for the good of students. However, I do acknowledge that many teachers have legitimate concerns about how these new changes will be introduced in schools.

“A new Working Group on Junior Cycle Reform will meet for the first time this Friday, 17th of January. This working group will be a forum where the concerns of the partners can be heard and addressed over the next number of months and years. The group is made up of representatives from the teacher unions, the ASTI and TUI, management bodies, parents, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and the Department of Education and Skills.

“While reform of the junior cycle is urgently required, it is being phased in over several years from September 2014. I am determined that the new JCSA will be introduced at a rate which will allow our schools, students and teachers the time to embed these changes.

“We have lost some time over the last few months but I am confident that this group can provide a focus for meaningful and effective dialogue that will address legitimate concerns and enable implementation to proceed,” said the Minister.

“This is an opportunity for all the partners to influence the development and implementation of junior cycle reform and I am fully committed to taking on board the outcomes of the Working Group’s deliberations,” concluded the Minister.

The current Junior Cycle curriculum has been in place for 25 years without any fundamental reform. There is compelling evidence that it is failing some young people as significant numbers of first years do not make progress in the key building blocks of learning: English and Maths.

There is also evidence of students ‘switching off’ in second year and in many cases they never reconnect to learning; while the experience of third year is dominated and narrowed by preparations for the Junior Cert exams. The new JCSA will address these problems and ensure students become informed teenagers and citizens with the tools to achieve their full potential.

Tá an tAire Oideachais agus Scileanna, Ruairí Quinn T.D., tar éis a fhógairt go mbeidh ainm nua ar an dTeastas Sóisearach leasaithe mar atá Gradam Scoláire na Sraithe Sóisearaí (an Gradam).

Adúirt an tAire Quinn, “Is fada agus is géar a bhí ollchóiriú ar an tSraith Shóisearach ag teastáil. Leis an nGradam nua beidh scoláirí, seachas scrúduithe, ag croílár na sraithe thrí bliana.

Adúirt an tAire Quinn leis, “Bíonn formhór na dtuismitheoirí agus na múinteoirí a chastar ormsa báúil le hollchóiriú ar an tsraith shóisearach – ar mhaithe leis na scoláirí. Admhaím, áfach, go bhfuil ábhair bhuartha dlisteanacha ag an-chuid múinteoirí faoin gcaoi a dtabharfar na hathruithe seo isteach i scoileanna.

“Tionólfar Meitheal Oibre nua do Leasú na Sraithe Sóisearaí don chéad uair riamh Dé hAoine seo chugainn, 17ú Eanáir. Fóram a bheidh sa mheitheal oibre seo ina bhféadfar ábhair bhuartha na gcomhpháirtithe oideachais a éisteacht agus a leigheas, a mhéid is féidir, thar na míonna agus na mblianta romhainn amach. Tá an grúpa comhdhéanta de hionadaithe ó cheardchumainn na múinteoirí, Cumann na Meánmhúinteoirí, Éire agus Aontas Múinteoiri Éireann, comhlachtaí bainistíochta, tuismitheoirí, an Chomhairle Náisiúnta Curaclaim agus Measúnachta agus an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna.

“Bíodh is go bhfuil géarghá le leasú ar an tsraith shóisearach, tá an Gradam á thabhairt isteach diaidh ar ndiaidh thar roinnt blianta ó mhí Mheán Fómhair 2014 amach. Táim meáite ar an nGradam nua a thabhairt isteach ar luas a fhágfaidh deis ag scoileanna, scoláirí agus múinteoirí na hathruithe seo a neadú.

“Tá seal ama caillte againn thar na míonna beaga anuas ach táim muiníneach go mbeidh an grúpa seo ina phointe fócais do phlé bríoch, éifeachtach sa chaoi go rachfar i ngleic le hábhair bhuartha dlisteanacha agus go mbeifear in ann dul ar aghaidh leis an bhfeidhmiú,” adúirt an tAire.
“Deis é seo ag na comhpháirtithe go léir dul i gcion ar fhorbairt agus fheidhmiú an leasaithe ar an tsraith shóisearach agus táim tiomanta go hiomlán do thorthaí na caibidlíochta ag an Meitheal Oibre a chur san áireamh,” adúirt an tAire mar fhocal scoir.

Tá curaclam reatha na Sraithe Sóisearaí ar bun le 25 bliain gan aon leasú bunúsach a bheith déanta air. Tá fianaise dhosheachanta ann nach bhfuil sé ag fónamh ar roinnt de na daoine óga mar go bhfuil líon suntasach de lucht na céad bliana ann nach bhfuil ag dul chun cinn sna heochair-réimsí foghlama: an Béarla agus an Mata.

Tá fianaise ann freisin go bhfuil scoláirí ag ‘lascadh as’ sa dara bliain agus is minic nach gcromann siad ariamh eile ar an bhfoghlaim; agus bíonn taithí na tríú bliana faoi cheannas na n-ullmhúchán do scrúduithe an Teastais Shóisearaigh agus bíonn sí caolaithe acu.

Rachfar i ngleic leis na fadhbanna seo leis an nGradam nua agus déanfar deimhin de go dtiocfaidh scoláirí chun bheith ina ndéagóirí eolasacha agus ina saoránaigh a bhfuil ar a gcumas an gealladh atá iontu a fhíorú.