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Students of irish relying on memorising answers

March 30, 2011

TOO many Junior Cert candidates sitting last year’s Irish higher level paper relied heavily on answers they had learned “off by heart”.

The problem was identified in a report by the Chief Examiner for the State Examinations Commission. The report is one of a series done every year on different subjects reviewing the performance of candidates in the State exams. The examiner highlighted a widespread concern about second-level students depending on rote learning. “It is evident that an excessive number of students are using pre-prepared answers in the composition, prose, poetry and the letter,” the report states. And it advises that candidates would perform better if more emphasis was put on imagination, and a positive, creative and original approach. Government education advisors, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), are drawing up plans for a major revamp of the Junior Cert, partly triggered by the concerns about rote learning.

Irish Independent – Katherine Donnelly