Wednesday 7 December 2016

Weak maths students left behind in push for points

Surge in failure rate at ordinary level as students get Leaving Cert results

Published 17/08/2016 | 02:30

Fail rates in maths among Leaving Certificate ordinary-level students have bounced back up to almost 10pc this year. Stock Image: GETTY
Fail rates in maths among Leaving Certificate ordinary-level students have bounced back up to almost 10pc this year. Stock Image: GETTY

Weaker maths pupils are struggling to make the grade as the national focus shifts to supporting higher level students.

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Fail rates in maths among Leaving Certificate ordinary level students have bounced back close to 10pc this year.

And despite the recent focus on higher level maths, there has been a sharp rise in the numbers opting for the basic, foundation level paper.

The trends at ordinary level take some of the shine off positive results at higher level - with a record 28pc of candidates taking the "honours" paper.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) releases results to almost 58,500 students today, including six highest achievers who each scored eight A1s.

Education Minister Richard Bruton led the congratulations to candidates, welcoming a greater uptake in physics and chemistry and a rise in students sitting "honours" maths.

But the stubbornly high maths fail rate at ordinary level raises continuing questions about the teaching and learning of the subject, and whether the much-vaunted Project Maths syllabus is making a difference.

Employers organisation Ibec also expressed concern at a decline in pupils studying foreign languages.

Irish Independent

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