Due to a dearth of teachers applying to mark examination papers, the State Examination Commission is having to resort to hiring individuals without any qualifications in teaching to grade some papers.
This is exactly the kind of low level scandal that we as a society live for. In fact, to even call it a scandal is in itself a glaring act of hyperbole. It is a thing that is happening that is a mild deviation from the norm, therefore, it apparently warrants analysis and dissection.
Evidently, when the Commission says that they are accepting applications from people without teaching qualifications to become exam markers, this does not mean that Richard Bruton has been sent out to the streets of Dublin with a large butterfly net and a manic look in his eye, tasked specifically with rounding up confused members of the public to grade a Leaving Cert Geography exam. Far from it. For one, Richard Bruton is largely prohibited by his party from interacting with the public, specifically for fear of this happening, but also because their recruitment policy for additional markers obviously has stringent checks in place.
The need to source additional staff for marking has arisen due to teachers feeling that they are not adequately financially reimbursed for the grading of papers. Each examiner is paid between €5-€32 per exam graded, depending on a myriad of factors. As such, due to the time intensive nature of the work, many of the subjects that command a lower pay packet for marking have struggled to garner sufficient applications. It is in these subjects that the Commission has said it will consider applications from those without teaching qualifications, however such applicants will need to have a third-level degree relevant to the subject they are applying to mark.
According to The Irish Times, despite the Comission's website stating that "all suitable qualified teachers are welcome to apply for these positions" and that applicants must have "recent teaching experience in the relevant subject area or [a] related subject," the Commission is open to recruiting non-teachers for subjects where they are struggling to fill marking positions.
They said that teachers evidently get priority when they are recruiting personnel and that they only consider hiring non-teachers in instances where there are still open spots.
While the prospect for any Junior or Leaving Cert student to have been continually told throughout the year that the exams they were facing would be some of the most important in their lives, to then be told that their papers would be marked by someone with no previous teaching or marking experience, may seem galling, the Commission has pledged for diligence to be done both in their recruitment policy and in the training and support given to those non-teachers who are hired to fill such positions.
H/T: The Irish Times