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Leaving Cert 2022 and whingeing students

  • 20-01-2022 9:33am
    Registered Users Posts: 8,240 ✭✭✭ Pussyhands

    The unions want traditional leaving cert with exams in the summer along with the usual assessments of projects and orals/aurals.

    Some students are whingeing they want the choice of hybrid and plucked from the sky teacher assessed grades. They want their cake and to eat it too.

    So I saw on RTE some staged a protest outside the Dail. Some had placards. "my education, my choice", "mental health not the LC rat race".

    Lads, if ye can't face a few exams in the summer then you'll not last in the real world with your mental health. And bog off with your "my education, my choice", the abortion ref was years ago.



  • So firstly, they've faced huge disruption in their education throughout the cycle. Secondly everyone's mental health has suffered in the last two years, on top of that they're facing exams that are incredibly high stress and have traditionally affected people's mental health. So they're facing a situation that neither you or I have faced.

    Also fyi, I found the leaving cert incredibly high stress and I was suffering from mental health issues at time on top of it. I did pretty terribly in it. College exams and my masters I had no issue with. On top of that, I'm in a pretty challenging and well paid area at this stage in my life. I don't find that half as stressful as the leaving cert and my leaving cert result offered pretty much no indication of my capabilities.

    So I have absolute sympathy for them and the fact the government didn't have the foresight to prepare for these scenarios is a pretty poor reflection on them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,483 ✭✭✭✭ steddyeddy

    The leaving cert has no bearing on how suitable someone is at university. It's a memory test. The university lectures have been fighting with the unions for years to change the LC curriculum as it's so dumbed down that it's simply wrong. Biology at leaving cert level for instance is ridiculous. The universities should step in and offer to carry out interviews before students are admitted to a particular course. I have no problem with the students doing something different in this particularly challenging time.

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  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    It's a two year course, think about how much has been going on for the last two years.

    I cannot understand why someone wouldn't have sympathy for them?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,483 ✭✭✭✭ steddyeddy

    So in your own words you want to decide who should get into which course in university by putting students through a test that isn't fair....

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    At least everyone is on an equal playing field on the “unfair memory test”.

    In our system it’s ultimately up to you to do the work to study, not the school you go to, who you know, etc. Predicted grades allow all those biases to appear unlike the traditional LC.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The only thing that’s messing up my mental health is having to compete with highly inflated points courses for a place.

    Hybrid exams will just make that worse.

  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Getting into whatever course shouldn't be decided by points anyway, a fair better system should be introduced, like the British one maybe

  • Except some people get hit worse mental health wise and not everyone is in the same circumstance. And I'll repeat, the leaving cert offers absolutely no reflection upon an individual. And this year's students are in a pretty unique scenario where they're facing a state examination returning to normal even though they didn't receive a normal education. Some will undoubtedly get on great but others will suffer cause the situation made it far more difficult for them.

    And you don't represent all students. Not all students have a home life where school from home is particularly optimal. The fact the government haven't been preparing for this scenario is a reflection of how poorly the department has been handled throughout the pandemic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 846 ✭✭✭ airy fairy

    Most students who sat the exam in June were awarded a higher grade than when they were graded by their teacher.

    Something needs dramatic overhauling in the points system now, be it this year or next. Kids have no idea what course to do because points were inflated. Teachers are hoping points will be reduced to where they were, but no one knows. If a kid was aiming for a course of 400 points, this year it was inflated to 480 points. They have no idea if this will fall back down to what they can realistically get, or if the course is still out of reach.

    Many students are coming to school Covid positive in order to keep up with the load. Many students have had a week or more of free classes due to teacher absence. Many students are close contacts or positive and have to stay out and miss school with no online support. In 5th year, they missed January, February, March and returned mid April, holidays in May. That's a huge chunk of lost time to learn the curriculum.

    I don't think the hybrid system will be implemented. But I do think something needs to be altered as regards to points and the allowance to sit the exam at a later time if a student is Covid positive during the usual exam time.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    This issue isn’t really relevant to predicted grades discussion as this would’ve been a case in any other LC exam year.

    The time we were off school the second time, schools were very prepared. My school is pretty bad and lower socioeconomically, but they gave anyone without laptops one for the duration. I live in a council house, I did my classes in my tiny box bedroom with a tiny table and I managed to get it to work.

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  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

  • So you're concluding that every student has a home situation that works for school from home? I'm genuinely happy for you but I guarantee that others suffered as a result of it.

    And mental health is incredibly relevant when we're in a scenario that's far from the norm. Imho, the impact of the LC on mental health has always been an issue but this time round is far more unusual.

    For the record, I'm not sure how grading should have worked this year. But returning to business as usual is a lack of preparation on the government's part.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I know people who live there.

    They place a heavy emphasis on predicted grades based on unstandardised tests, and interviews.. there you aren’t just a number. It’s not a secret that people with important connections manage to find a way in even if not the most deserving of a place.

    There is a huge gap in education there between the rich and the poor. To my knowledge it’s pretty much the same in the US.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,429 ✭✭✭ Furze99

    Every June for many years past and pre Covid, we have heard the annual mantra that the Leaving Cert system must be overhauled. Too much based on written tests on one day, not enough continuous assessment.

    Covid has come along and forced a change for last year, so people see this is in fact possible. Come this year, we now see who are the biggest opponents of change - the second level teachers unions.

    Students want change, parents want change, colleges want change - everyone wants change bar the teacher unions.

    This is a power struggle to see just who has a stranglehold over the exam system at second level. Rather than concentrating on student protests, we might do better to examine the oppositional motives of teachers and their unions........................... just exactly why are they so set against change?

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,483 ✭✭✭✭ steddyeddy

    I studied science in my undergrad. It's not a memory test and because of that it had a high drop out rate. Students who were used to cram in order to "learn" had to actually understand complex issues before they could learn.

    Actually privilege already pays a part in our system as fee paying schools dominate ( In other words their connections are paying their way in. Oxford and Cambridge have already countered this by carrying out interviews to test why a person wants to do a subject. I have done it myself in England and you can easily weed out the ones who get coached.

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