Beyond the points race?
Sir, – The Leaving Certificate is not structured to allow for creative thought, rather it is a two-year cycle focused on a two-week regurgitation of what has been “learned”. Teachers are not to be blamed for this, rather it is those who structure education towards rote learning who have designed a cycle based around this. We shouldn’t forget that this system has also given rise to a multimillion euro industry of “grinds” schools which also focus on what text “will probably come up” for the exam rather than actually teaching children to think for themselves or (heaven forbid) be creative.
A sizeable number of students who qualify for third-level places via the current system subsequently drop out as they do not have the correct skills for a university education. As I understand it, the Trinity College Dublin scheme seeks to address some of the gaps in the current admissions system, whereby those who have the correct aptitude for third-level education – but not necessarily the points – are given the opportunity to prove themselves at this level.
I believe that the TCD scheme should be welcomed to run in tandem with the current admissions system. It is foolish to rush to condemn what is, after all, an experiment. Judgment should be reserved until the quality of the graduates can be benchmarked against their points-race colleagues. – Yours, etc,
RORY J WHELAN,
Drogheda, Co Louth.