Thursday 14 December 2017

Trump, migration and EU give pupils plenty to write about

US President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
US President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

A student aiming for high marks in Leaving Certificate geography would need to know what is going on in the world today, and not be relying solely on textbooks, according to teachers.

The higher level paper covered topics such as migration and challenges facing the EU.

Neil Curran, a subject representative for the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI), said students could demonstrate what they knew about current issues such as the Syrian crisis, Donald Trump's immigration policy and Brexit.

Mr Curran, of St Columba's College, Glenties, Co Donegal, said there were no really difficult questions, but he had some concerns about language. He thought words like intrusive and extrusive might have challenged average students.

Mary Martin, a Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) subject representative, said higher level students she spoke to were generally happy, but time management was an issue with the short questions, which were "very skills-based".

Ms Martin welcomed the focus on skills in the ordinary level paper, with a lot of emphasis on map reading, sketching, statistics and graph drawing.

"It gives students an opportunity to show their skills and for ordinary level candidates, it makes it more achievable," she said.

A question on migration across the Mediterranean referred to the role of the Irish Naval Service and she welcomed that the examiners "bring things like that in"

Junior Cert students to whom she spoke were happy.

Irish Independent

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