Topical... just don't mention NAMA
Leaving Certificate Economics
THE current economic situation provided a rich vein of material for the Leaving Certificate Economics papers. Candidates, at both levels, were treated to an array of questions on subjects that have been dominating the headlines.
Water charges, carbon taxes, the nationalisation of commercial banks and the drop in price for development land were all among the topical issues that featured on the higher-level paper.
Questions at ordinary level covered issues such as cross-border shopping, emigration and immigration, unemployment, deflation and the falling demand for hotel accommodation.
Teacher Shane O'Ciardubhain said it was a great time to be studying economics and he applauded the examiners for producing papers of such relevance, which was a great help to teachers and students.
"Students who kept up to pace on current affairs will do well," said Mr O'Ciardubhain of the TUI and Gaelcholaiste Cheatharlach, Carlow.
Jennie Harrington of the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland said students who did their work were well- rewarded.
She said some may have been expecting a question on oligopoly to come up in market structures but, if so, they were disappointed.
Ms Harrington said ordinary-level candidates should have been happy with a fair and straightforward paper.
Ray O'Loughlin of the Institute of Education, Dublin considered higher level "a long and taxing paper".
"Students were presented with a full question on taxation. In addition, a knowledge of different tax implications was required for a further four questions," Mr O'Loughlin said.
Given the topical nature of the paper, Mr O'Loughlin was surprised that NAMA did not appear.
"Many students would have researched this topic independently. This would have disappointed students, as would the fact that only two-and-a-half questions related to micro-economics," Mr O'Loughlin said.
He said an applied knowledge of economics was essential for this paper and he thought it would be an interesting exercise for Government ministers to attempt it.
About 30 students also sat a paper in agricultural economics.