Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Marking of Certificate Examinations.

30.

asked the Minister for Education if he is aware of the widespread dissatisfaction among parents, pupils and teachers as a result of the method adopted in marking intermediate certificate and leaving certificate papers for 1971; and if he will take the necessary steps to have re-checks carried out with a view to doing justice to all concerned.

I am not aware of any such dissatisfaction.

As in previous years, re-checks are carried out where the application for them is in accordance with the standing instructions to school authorities.

Is the Minister telling the House that in his opinion the results of the intermediate and leaving certificate examinations have been received satisfactorily by the people concerned? Is he not aware that there is widespread dissatisfaction? It is well known throughout the length and breadth of the country that there was a deliberate marking down of papers for the purpose of depriving children of their rights to university education.

This is not in accordance with the facts. The numbers doing the leaving certificate examination in 1970 were 18,975, of whom 15,466 passed and 3,509 failed, whereas this year 4,026 failed out of 20,780. Those figures show that the marking this year is very close to the marking in 1970. In relation to the intermediate examination the numbers who sat for the examination in 1970 were 35,913 of whom 9,532 failed and this year 36,402 sat of whom 9,745 failed. The marking this year was on a par with the marking in any other year.

Will the Minister not admit to the House that a whisper went down along the line to mark down the papers this year? This meant that pupils who were ordinarily entitled to a certain number of honours in order to qualify for a grant for university education were deprived. This whisper must have come from the Minister's Department.

I absolutely and entirely refute that allegation.