home News “Practical reality” the issue in heated education debate | Audrey Ellard Walsh

“Practical reality” the issue in heated education debate | Audrey Ellard Walsh

Gavin Lynch Frahill Education
Peter.jpgIn contrast to the amicable debates between other candidates, Peter Kiernan-McCarthy and Gavin Lynch Frahill took full opportunity to question each other and rebut.

    A particular area of contention was sparked by Kiernan-McCarthy’s opening question relating to Lynch-Frahill’s manifesto promise to work to abolish 100% exams, favouring higher accreditation for essays, group projects and other assignments throughout the term.

   Lynch-Frahill eagerly defended his policy, which would also increase the opportunity for constructive criticism and interaction with lecturers. He slammed the current method of examination in UCC as an “archaic, cheap method of assessing students and the senior educational theorists in the world would agree with that.”

    Kiernan-McCarthy claimed that theory is fine but “the issue is the practical reality of it”. He is particularly concerned with any increase in workload for students as result of increase in continuous assessment. He cited his own experience prior to going on placement here, where he felt the increase in continuous assessment with clashing deadlines lead to undue stress and mental health issues for classmates.

    Gavin pushed Peter on a point that formed the backbone of much of his manifesto, that of the introduction and expansion of academic accreditation of involvement with clubs and societies. This initiative has been discussed for several years and has yet to move beyond the discussion stages, save for a handful of recognition awards such as the UCC Works programme.

    Gavin’s question sought both the names of the people he spoke to in these areas while researching the policy and his plan for rolling it out across the university.

    Kiernan-McCarthy admitted that details for the planned policy are still up in the air but understands based on discussions with current Education Officer PJ O’Brien that it is set to be trialled on the basis of an extra 5 credits on students’ transcripts. He admitted that there would be issues with how students would be assessed and have their performances measured.

    Lynch-Frahill, who also covers this issue in his manifesto was eager to push for names of people he met to discuss this with, arguing that meeting with heads of clubs and societies is not enough. He also questioned Peter further on his plans for ensuring that the correct students receive accreditation.