Tuesday 17 October 2017

Leaving Cert students still haven't found what they're looking for

Putting Bono on the English paper is a facile sop to a pop culture that already has too much sway, says Eilis O'Hanlon

Mary Robinson
Seamus Heaney

Eilis O'Hanlon

It's that time of year again, when the Irish media becomes obsessed to the point of tedium with the Leaving Cert. Did I say "to the point of tedium"? Make that "way past the point of tedium".

On all channels, radio presenters offer last-minute tips to students and parents on how to take the stress out of the annual exam season; reporters hang around outside schools, badgering young people in a manner which would normally lead to the police being called; newspapers pore over the minutiae of each day's papers as if they were international peace treaties.

Most of these items could have been recorded or written at any point during the past 20 or 30 years. The advice never changes. Eat well. Get a good night's sleep. Don't panic if you do badly, it's not the end of the world, you can always resit - or do an arts degree at UCD. If this year's crop of students and parents don't know all this basic information already, it's probably too late for national radio to stage an intervention.

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