About Me

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I have been performing wedding blessings and marriage ceremonies for almost 30 years.

For the last 10 years, or so, the ceremonies I perform are independent of any particular church or institution.

Who I am:

- I am a Celtic priest and monk
- I am in my early 60's
- I am married with four young children
- I belong to the Celtic spiritual tradition but not to any formal church, sect or cult
- I am freelance and self-employed

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Changing Education - Dara On Wednesday this week, Irish students finishing secondary school begin their Leaving Certificate Examinations. While for some it will be a challenge which they relish, for most I suspect it will be an oppressive experience which will not adequately measure who they are, what their potential is, or what they have achieved. It is long past the time for Irish society to be rid of this wretched examination. Life has been easy for third level colleges and employers who have been using this exam as a handy tool for determining access to study courses or places of employment. Objections that this measuring tool is neither fair nor appropriate have fallen on deaf ears or been brushed under the carpet. Of course, there are those who say that the Leaving Certificate Examination is fair. It is only fair if the people you are measuring are all clones of one another. It then becomes a reasonably good measure of how any particular clone worked for the exam. Every parent knows that each child is different. Using one narrow measuring tool on each of them will not present a useful picture of individual aptitudes, skills, knowledge or potential. To change the system, two things need to happen. First, the government needs to write into law a protection for all those seeking entry into study courses or employment. The tests and criteria used to assess each candidate must be shown to accurately reflect the requirements of the course or job. Secondly, schools need to embrace diversity to reflect the diversity among their students. Students have a diversity of aptitudes, interests and abilities and each student has an equal right to have his or her potential catered for. When it comes to assessment, the best way forward is for each student to accumulate a portfolio of achievements, acquired skills and knowledge, experiences, and other documentation that records aptitudes, interests and abilities. These then can be presented at an interview for a college place or job. As for the Leaving Cert ... time to bin it!

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