Friday 24 March 2017

Leaving Cert system failing us all

The State exam is one-dimensional and ill-equips students for adult or working life, writes Celia Larkin

SMILES ALL ROUND: Catherine King (right) is congratulated by her friend Aisling O'Neill Halligan as she celebrates getting 8 A1 grades in her Leaving Certificate exams outside Loreto College, Dublin
SMILES ALL ROUND: Catherine King (right) is congratulated by her friend Aisling O'Neill Halligan as she celebrates getting 8 A1 grades in her Leaving Certificate exams outside Loreto College, Dublin

My nerves are shot, my head is 'cabbaged' and I'm exhausted. The cause of my tribulation? The Leaving Cert results and their consequences. I haven't suddenly acquired teenage children. No. I've just spent the past year on the inside track with that delicate breed of female, the Leaving Cert Mum.

I think I'm in shock. Over the past few months the pressure has been building. Did the lads get enough sleep? Did they study enough? What if they get sick? Do they need more grinds? Should they be grounded? Should they be given more freedom? On and on the soul-searching went for a whole year. Morning after morning, the debate raged until finally last Wednesday came and it was all over.

I feel like I've been pulled through a hedge backwards -- and I'm only the walking buddy.

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