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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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Renua wants to abolish the Leaving Cert as we know it

The party is unveiling its general election manifesto later this morning.

Exam results day can be too much for some
Exam results day can be too much for some
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

RENUA HAS PLEDGED to effectively abolish the Leaving Certificate and replace it with a largely apprentice-based system as part of proposals contained in its general election manifesto.

The party will be the first to unveil its manifesto later this morning as preparations for the election, which is expected late next month, begin in earnest this week.

One of the party’s most eye-catching proposals is to end the current Leaving Certificate and replace it with a new system where only 30% of the overall mark will be exam-based with the rest being “task orientated” under a self-assessment and apprentice-based system.

The party claims this will prepare people for careers in tourism, hospitality, retail, fashion and design, agriculture, car maintenance, or crafts and trades like woodwork, metalwork and construction studies.

“Students should have access to practical, fit-for-purpose applied Leaving Certificates that provide for a mix of work experience modules and academic tuition,” a party source said.

Meanwhile, TheJournal.ie has learned that Renua will pitch itself to voters as a possible coalition partner for Fine Gael and Labour if the current administration needs a third party to form a government.

This marks as significant u-turn by party leader Lucinda Creighton who told this website last June that she could not see any circumstances where Renua would be available to “prop-up a government that’s been rejected by the people”:

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

But a senior party source told this website that Renua is pitching itself to voters as “a potential watchdog” of Fine Gael and Labour in government.

“We will be asking do you want to let this lot in on their own again? Do you trust them?

“Fine Gael and Enda want absolute power with Enda as the high king of Ireland or ruling with the support of independents who are far more concerned about potholes rather than IBRC.

The questions we will be asking the voters are: ‘Who do you want? Michael Lowry or Lucinda to hold the keys to the cabinet table?’

At its manifesto launch in Dublin this morning, the party will outline five principles that will guide its election platform including:

  1. Its controversial flat tax proposal.
  2. Investment in housing and childcare, including a €500 million tax cut for working parents, spending property tax revenue on childcare facilities, and a €2 billion public-private partnership home building programme.
  3. Ending tax discrimination against entrepreneurs, farmers and the self-employed
  4. A zero tolerance policy on repeat serial offenders.
  5. Acting as a watchdog in government by replacing cronyism and double standards with transparency and reform.

On her party’s plans to abolish the Leaving Certificate as we know it, Creighton said: “The current Leaving Certificate is not fit-for-purpose.

“It does not teach the skills that are necessary for success in a modern economy. We will be failing our young adults if we decide, for convenience sake, not to reform this system.”

Explainer: The Leaving Cert’s getting a massive overhaul. Here’s how it’ll work.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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