Page 4 - Gonzaga in the 1970s
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the universities and the end of the system which
allowed students to ‘accumulate’ leaving cert points
over a number of years – a system that had suited
Gonzaga very well. By 1977, the school has
abandoned the practice of sitting the Leaving
Certificate in Fifth Year and the special formation
year that followed, when students could also repeat,
or add, certain subjects, as well as study for Matric
entry to colleges.

Once the decision to retain Gonzaga had been
made, the necessary consequences fell into place: an
expansion in numbers, doubling the Senior School in
size; the change to a two-stream structure; and the
inevitable building of a classroom extension. There
followed, too, the demise of other experiments,
including the special Sixth Year

A number of men oversaw these years of
change. Fr Paul Andrews SJ, Prefect of Studies from
1967-1971, will have been part of the thinking
process in the early stages (the archive has no written
record of his participation). Among his thoughts on
his time in Gonzaga, he has mentioned the effect on
the students of the turbulence of the ˋsixties.

2 Fr Lee’s comments, in 1986, on the question of teacher
assessment of students as part of an alternative to the points
system and terminal exams would be music to the ears of
teacher unions currently engaged (2015) in industrial action
in opposition to teacher assessment in the context of the
proposed new Junior Cycle.
3 See Fr Joe Veale’s prospectus, The Gonzaga Record

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