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Leaving Cert decision was ‘least worst’ option says Puttnam

June 10th, 2020 11:55 AM

By Southern Star Team

David Puttnam features in this week’s Southern Star Coronavirus Podcast, which is available from this weekend.

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DAVID Puttnam has said there should be a Supreme Court derogation which would stop aggrieved parents and students from suing the State if they are unhappy with their Leaving Cert results this year.

Speaking on The Southern Star’s Coronavirus Podcast this week, the Skibbereen resident, and Oscar-winning film producer, said the decision to use grading rather than the traditional Leaving Cert exam was the ‘least worst’ decision, in the circumstances.

Mr Puttnam, who is also a member of the UK House of Lords, and an associate professor at UCC, has been working from his West Cork base as an online educator, lecturing to universities across the world, for almost a decade.

He believes technology has a huge role to play in the future of education, and that one of the few silver linings of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has accelerated this process.

Ideally, the secondary system should embrace the idea of a system whereby from the day you start secondary school, every piece of work counts. It’s time to abandon the system of cramming for a few months before a State exam, he said, although a blended system – of both exams and continuous assessment – is probably the best option.

On the subject of the pandemic he said that a ‘traffic light’ system of red (high incidence of the virus) to green zones would help people to ease back into a more normal existence. This is similar to the terrorism alert system at play in the House of Lords in the UK.

He denied that it might result in people in a green zone being more complacent with government guidelines.

People have been incredibly responsible in West Cork, he said, and he feels ‘very secure’ here.

In the next 12 months the improvements in the type of technology we are using now will ‘blow our minds’, he said, but governments must start to see broadband as a human right, like water or electricity.

And on a lighter note, the Oscar-winning producer reveals his lockdown viewing choices, which include the four-part Unorthodox series on Netflix, and the Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana.

To hear, or watch, the interview in full, CLICK HERE

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