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The errors identified in Mondays Junior and Leaving Certificate papers are nothing short of a total and utter disgrace! How many students were put off their exam this Monday by a senseless, needless and lazy mistake, these papers are supposed to be verified by at least four so called ‘experts’, regrets at this stage are useless and of no help to students who wasted valuable time trying to figure out why their answer was not working out as it should have, how is the SEC going to take that factor into account when examiners mark the paper. In the Junior Cert, a blatantly obvious inaccuracy would have totally thrown the students, “The Junior Cert error related to an option to answer one of four questions, one of which related to the Referendum Commission. The question described the role of the commission as “presenting both sides of a proposed change to the constitution so that the people of Ireland make informed decisions when voting”. “In fact, the commission’s role changed in 2001 and it no longer gives both sides of the argument.” In the Leaving Cert Maths paper, “one question on geometry featured a diagram of a triangle with an extra attribute – the degree of one angle – included. The inclusion of the extra digits meant it was possible to get two correct answers.” So who is examining and overseeing the incompetence, ineffectualness and inadequacy of the State Examinations Commissions invigilators in discharging their duties? Yet again this year it has been proven that they haven’t discharged their duties in a professional and expert manner as parents and students would expect them to do so. Never again should the State Examination Board, subject stressed students to even more anxiety and pressure, as they have managed to do once again this year. Someone must be made accountable for these significant errors and procedural failings, water tight checks and balances must be put in place in future and be properly adhered to once and for all, and the people at the source of this error must be identified and made to explain why these errors occurred, so that it will not happen again. As the Father of a fifth year student, who is doing his Leaving Certificate next year, I sincerely hope this ongoing problem is resolved and no student or parent ever has to read these all too familiar headlines again.
Article by John J. O’Donovan.