Pressure on students


Sir, – I must disagree with the head of examinations and assessment in the State Examination Committee, Tim Desmond, in recommending that “the CAO system changes significantly, to move the pressure point from the end of senior cycle to the end of first year in third-level institutions” (“Examinations official criticises ‘relentless pursuit of CAO points’”, News, October 24th).

First year in college is not a good time to introduce the pressure. The majority of students have to cope with leaving home for the first time, leaving all their family and friends, living with new people, looking after their own finances, cooking, laundry, shopping, cleaning, etc. All these are new to them. It would be an unfair advantage to students who can live at home with little or no change.

Perhaps to introduce the pressure slowly, in second and third years, might be a better solution.

Do we really want to return to the old system of the 1970s and 1980s, when we had first-year college drop-out rates of up to 33 per cent? – Yours, etc,


The Curragh,

Co Kildare.