Home Economics paper 'too preachy'


Students complained this afternoon’s Leaving Cert Home Economics paper was too “preachy’’ – but they say the exam was a reasonable test with no surprises.

On social networks some students complained about the “politically correct ‘’ and “right on’’ tone of the paper. But it was also praised for its contemporary and topical feel.

The exam had question on the importance of water charges, green energy in the home , knowing your consumer rights and eating your greens.

It helped to know your nutrients as the subject of vitamins popped up in two sections instead of the usual one. Despite this, students were happy with the exam which was topical and “more settled” than previous years.

“The short question section was a very well set, much better than in previous years,” said Maura McCaul of Loreto College.

The almost-predictable topic of housing policy came up for the sixth time in eight years. There were also questions on unemployment and children’s rights.

“Both the higher and ordinary level papers this year can be considered fair,” said a spokesperson from the TUI. “Like last year, the papers had a strong relevance to the Ireland of today and the challenges the country faces.”

At higher level, questions were detailed and covered areas such as food safety and buying a house.

Teachers and students said the paper was very relevant to modern life with areas such as the changing eating patterns of adolescents and budgeting covered.

“Both papers were challenging and it’s probably fair to say that a well prepared student at either level would have been reasonably happy with the topics and the nature of the questions,” said a TUI spokesperson.

“You would need to be on top of the news to do well in this exam, especially the changing area of housing policy,” said Maura McCaul of Asti. Students of higher level were asked to discuss the factors influencing housing choices and to describe mortgage options for house buyers.

Students were also asked to outline the benefits of private health insurance.

Sandra Cleary of the Institute of Education welcomed the language and layout of the paper. “The nutrient examined in this question was carbohydrate, which was widely anticipated by students. Question 2 was a departure from recent years in that it combined questions on a food group and another nutrient. Whereas it was unexpected, students were happy, as the question reflected the time devoted to studying nutrients over the last two years.”

Appropriately, with a referendum on Children’s Rights expected this year, children’s rights were examined on yesterday’s higher level paper.

The ordinary level paper was similarly newsy with a detailed section on domestic water use and conservation.

More than 12,000 students sat today’s exam. Around 1500 candidates were male. Just over 2000 students took the subjects at ordinary level.