The Irish Times view on Leaving Cert results: A world of opportunities

The increase in the numbers of students taking higher level papers, and securing excellent grades in them, will be a cause for much celebration in homes throughout the country today

 

Never has a cohort of Leaving Cert students had a greater range of options and opportunities to progress successfully onto the next stage of their career than have the class of 2019. The 58,000-plus students who will receive their results this morning will be able to select from a very wide range of educational and vocational routes .

Ten of thousands of these young people will receive and accept offers of their preferred course choices through the CAO next Thursday afternoon. Others will choose to defer their entry to third-level for a year to enable them to secure a further education (FE) award in their preferred discipline and progress in 2020 into their preferred CAO programme through the reserved (FE) places route which has been expanding rapidly. Parents and students still struggle to believe that the most prestigious course options in our universities and institutes of technology can now be secured other than through the CAO points route.

The rapid recovery in the construction industry and the development of a wide range of apprenticeships in biopharma, finance, ICT, logistics, hospitality & food and property, through Solas, has added greatly to the options available to school-leavers. Some of these options are on offer through FE colleges, others through ITs.

The increase in the numbers of students taking higher level papers, and securing excellent grades in them, will be a cause for much celebration in homes throughout the country today. Interestingly, given the ongoing debate concerning exemptions from the study of Irish, almost half of this year’s Leaving Cert class took the subject at higher level, as did almost three quarters of those studying English.

Both Government and industry will be pleased that the number of students taking higher-level maths has now reached a third of this year’s cohort of students. A record number of students (16,846), have therefore secured an additional 25 bonus points to add to their base score in their best six subjects.

A major change in how scripts were corrected was in place this year, brought about by the court judgment in the Rebecca Carter case last September. Maths, biology, chemistry, physics, link modules and politics were corrected through an online method, each paper having been scanned. Students wishing to review or seek a remarking of any of their papers will be reviewing them at home on the new “Candidate Self Service Portal”.

Within a few short years, all Leaving Cert papers will be corrected online, which opens up the possibility of the State Exams Commission reaching out beyond the traditional cohort of Irish teachers, who have grown progressively less willing to dedicate their summer holidays to working their way through hundreds of exam scripts.

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