Sunday 25 March 2018

Broad range of essay titles on offer

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

After 14 years in school, Leaving Certificate Irish higher level candidates may have welcomed the opportunity to say what they wanted about the education system in the speech question in paper 1.

It was among the topics on what Ruth Morrissey of the Teachers' Union of Ireland and St Michael's College, Kilmihil, Co Clare, described as a "very accessible" paper.

Her only quibble was the essay option on environmental affairs, now and in the future, because she wasn't sure whether pupils who had not been to a Gaelscoil would have the vocabulary for it. But they had a choice.

Robbie Cronin, Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland and Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin, said the essay titles, which included emigration, sports stars and Ireland as a holiday destination, were so nice that better pupils may not have found them challenging enough.

On the other hand, the debate title that politicians were not doing enough to steer the country in the right direction was challenging, while he thought the speech question on the education system was "great".

Clare Grealy of the Institute of Education described it as "possibly one of the fairest examinations in many years".

"Essay titles were broad, allowing students to interpret the presented topics in a manner that they chose," she said.

Teachers were just as positive about the ordinary level paper. One wonders how many took the option of writing about hosting a "free" house when parents are away.

Irish Independent

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