Advertisement
Boards Golf Society are looking for new members for 2022...read about the society and their planned outings here!
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards

Exam Commission defends 'school bus' question

  • #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,183 mod Eoin


    From BreakingNews.ie
    The Examinations Commission has defended the inclusion of a "school bus" question in this morning’s Ordinary Level Junior Cert paper, while a parents’ group has labeled the question "appalling".

    Controversy has erupted following the inclusion of the question about traveling in a school bus just two weeks after five school girls were killed in Co Meath in the country’s worst ever school bus crash.

    The exam commission said while it would not have been logistically possible to replace the essay question, candidates are expected to write about situations that reflect the reality of their daily lives.

    It said that pupils will inevitably have to write about topics that may impact on their lives such as accidents, violence, drug abuse, crime or poverty.

    However, Eleanor Petrie of the National Parents’ Council does not accept this.

    She says the paper should have been substituted by the spare one, prepared in the event of the theft.

    “I think it is appalling that it was allowed to go ahead with this question, knowing that we've had this national tragedy,” Ms Petrie said.

    The Commission added that while it makes every effort to avoid material that might cause offence or upset, it is not possible to exclude reference to subjects that might be associated with a traumatic experience for some candidates.

    Talk about "head in the sand" mentality - sort of like any questions about airplanes being banned after September 11th.

    Is this the same group that said that parents should boycott school buses unless they are all fitted with seat belts by September? Although an understandable sentiment, it made no sense either from a logistical stand point (impossible to fit seat belts in that time frame), or a practical one: school kids are at far more risk in a car with a seatbelt than in a large coach without seatbelts - as the National Safety Council stated.

    I don't think that making a fuss about this will really help anyone, and all it can be put down to is an unfortunate co-incidence. Remarks like this make the parents council (in my opinion) seem like a group who are there just to nag, and remove their credibility as a group who can provide constructive advise on "real" issues.


Comments



  • Sounds like the National Parents’ Council is enjoying the spotlight too much and now feels the need to sustain their concern for the fragile minds of the children. All together now: "Won't someone think of the children"




  • I agree, it was such a ridiculous overreaction. If these children are going to break down the moment they see the word "bus" written down somewhere, they obviously need to learn how to deal with these things a little better.

    And it was Junior Cert ordinary level from what I heard. Not exactly one of those your-whole-life-depends-on-this-paper exams, now is it?




  • I think that it was instigated by some of the parents of the dead kids, so they have to get a bit of leeway. From there the NPC hijacked it, and the Minister is now gone bananas trying not to offend the memory of the girls.

    The NPC have a spotlight (and the Govts ear), all they need now is an issue. Any issue!




  • a bit much IMO, should CIE stop using buses in their fleet while they're at it, just incase one of the kids see them on the street?

    I can see why there's a reaction and it may have been a good idea not to include the question, but it's just about buses, not even a crash or anything. To ensure that nothing is said in an exam paper that would offend anyone or drag up bad memories would be impossible




  • It's a complete and utter over-reaction. We all have sympathy for what happened to those poor kids and their parents, but that doesn't mean that every student who received that paper today stopped and broke down in the middle of the exam.

    The NPC need to cop themselves on. This latest "outrage" will only generate bad-publicity for them


  • Advertisement


  • I have a 16 year old, I think she would have more of a problem of coming in at 12.30 tonight instead of the stipulated time of 11.30.

    She thinks I am a madman, I tell her that 15/16 year olds are being raped and murdered, she thinks I make it all up.

    I do not think she would have a problem with the bus question, she thinks she is beyond everything, I think most of her age think the same.

    They see so much death and carnage on the TV that they are immune to it.

    Maybe they are right, and we are just old foggies




  • Don't the media have anything better to cover?
    Of course we all have sympathy for anybody directly affected by that accident, but "outrage" due to an innocent question appearing in an exam paper that was drafted months ago is just silly.




  • blacknight wrote:
    Don't the media have anything better to cover?
    Of course we all have sympathy for anybody directly affected by that accident, but "outrage" due to an innocent question appearing in an exam paper that was drafted months ago is just silly.

    I think the point is that the NPC are in the limelight at the moment, and I would blame them more than the media for making an issue of this.




  • dudara wrote:
    It's a complete and utter over-reaction. We all have sympathy for what happened to those poor kids and their parents, but that doesn't mean that every student who received that paper today stopped and broke down in the middle of the exam.

    The NPC need to cop themselves on. This latest "outrage" will only generate bad-publicity for them
    What dudara said.




  • http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0609/navan.html
    It has emerged that the State Examinations Commission changed a question that was contained in today's Ordinary Level Leaving Certificate Irish Paper.

    The question in the composition section asked students to write on the subject 'Timpiste Bothair' (road accident).

    The question was changed for candidates in four secondary schools in Navan.

    A pretty understandable measure in damage control given the current situation, and of a question that is far more open to reasonable criticism than one about a bus.
    What I'm surprised by is the fact that it was changed in only 4 schools, I didn't realise it was possible to give out two different versions of the same level of exam, I figured there'd have to be a single standard.
    We can all sit back and wait for the law-suits against the state to pile in from students who failed LC Irish as a result of the discrimination the State has been a part of in giving easier questions to some and not others!


  • Advertisement


  • dregin wrote:
    What dudara said.
    Indeed.




  • flogen wrote:
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0609/navan.html


    A pretty understandable measure in damage control given the current situation, and of a question that is far more open to reasonable criticism than one about a bus.
    What I'm surprised by is the fact that it was changed in only 4 schools,...

    This really is a case of standards being walked over out of fear for how a story will play out in the media.

    Offering a tailored question for four schools would also seem to chip away at anonymity, which I thought was a cornerstone of the leaving cert correction process. Any teacher receiving a batch of papers what includes a few essays on the alternative topic of ‘an telefis’ will know they come from a school in Meath that may have been impacted by the crash. Any harm in that? Maybe, maybe not but if anonymity can be compromised on such flimsey grounds why do we bother with it in the first place?

    Also, can anyone who recently had a friend or acquaintance killed in a car accident claim discrimination because they did not get any special treatment? Presumably they can, if they get a few airheads to suggest it to Joe Duffy.


Advertisement