Monday 5 December 2016

It's time to grade the Leaving Cert as 'could do better'

Clive Byrne

Published 13/08/2015 | 02:30

Hannah Dillion and Sarah O’Neill celebrate in the sunshine after receiving their Leaving Cert results at St Mary’s College, Arklow, Co Wicklow.
Hannah Dillion and Sarah O’Neill celebrate in the sunshine after receiving their Leaving Cert results at St Mary’s College, Arklow, Co Wicklow.

From an educator's perspective, this year's Leaving Certificate has in general been encouraging, particularly in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and foreign language learning.

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There has been a rise in the number of students sitting Higher Level Physics and Chemistry (up by 19pc and 12pc respectively on 2013) and those sitting Higher Level foreign languages, namely French, German and Spanish. These trends indicate that the increasing focus in recent years to adapt the curriculum to match our globalised, IT-centric economy is slowly starting to see results.

As Ireland looks to establish itself on the global stage as a tech power, a supply of computer scientists, physicists, statisticians, engineers and analysts will be crucial, not only to satisfy multinational companies' voracious appetite for talent, but also to grow and nurture our indigenous businesses.

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