Stress and students at second level

 

Sir, – The State-funded National Educational Psychological Service has a shortage of psychologists to assess each student and an ever-increasing waiting list, severely affecting those struggling with learning difficulties which impacts their mental health. How are they to succeed in a system heavily weighted against them? As their inability to pay only increases the inequality between those students whose parents can afford to pay for private assessments or tuition, further increasing the differences between social classes in our society and solidifying out two-tier system.

The Leaving Certificate is another cause for high levels of stress among students. The one-off exam creates an intense points race, pitting students against one another and putting them under conditions of extreme pressure, resulting in an alarming number of students suffering with mental health issues.

Inequality is rife in our education system, and students from higher middle-class background may attend private schools and receive more individual attention in smaller classes. These students also have access to a broader range of subjects, individual private tuition and parents with a higher standard of education. This combination yields significant advantage in the quest for points, adding insult to injury for the student hoping for equality in leaving certificate results. Will educational stress ever subside and inequality be resolved for the future generations? – Yours, etc,

JAMEELA ABOURGNAH,

ANNA DONNELY

JACKSON,

YVONNE HOMAN TULLY,

SARAH KENNY,

MOHAMED MNETE,

AOIFE RUSSELL,

Belfield, Dublin 4.