It is that time of the year most dreaded by Leaving Certificate students in Clare. The month of June is upon us and what is understood as the most stressful couple of weeks of teenager’s lives is ahead.
The Leaving and Junior Certificate Examinations will start next week.
Last year nearly 3 thousand Clare students took their seats to do the Junior and Leaving Certificate. The figure for this year is expected to be slightly up on that figure.
The Leaving Cert begins with English on June 9th and carries on depending on what subjects you do to the 25th of June.
Speaking after a meeting held by Clare Young Fine Gael, Cillian Griffey (Chairman) said that “Stress and worry on an unimaginable scale is associated with the Leaving Certificate. The Government and Minister for Education have to sit up and take notice of students concerns. What I’m hearing on the ground is for a radical overhaul of the examinations to occur. Continuous assessment has to be embraced more. Putting so much stress on students for a few weeks is wrong and should be curtailed.”
“If any young person out there is frustrated with the Government’s way in which students are examined or anything else, I would recommend joining Young Fine Gael as we give every young person a voice and chance to give their point of view. You can be part of the change that will occur when this Government is thrown out of office. I, along with my Clare Young Fine Gael colleagues want to wish everyone doing the exams good luck and well wishes into the future”
Last year saw changes in the Leaving Cert timetable that meant that the second English paper is now not until the morning after the first paper, leaving most students with either a morning or an evening off at some stage during the first few days of exams.
Last year a huge error came to light after English Paper Two was opened by mistake at an examination centre in Co Louth when students should have got English Paper 1.
The State Examinations Commission decided then to postpone Leaving Certificate English Paper Two, both Higher and Ordinary levels, after it emerged that students in one centre had already seen the paper.
This was a catastrophic blunder and one that should not be replicated this year.
According to Brian Hayes, Fine Gael’s Education Spokesperson, The rescheduled English exam last year led many Leaving Cert students who said they would do the Honours Paper reconsidering and in turn dropped down to Ordinary Level. Ireland already has a problem with the numbers taking Honours; only 20% did so last year, so any further drop is extremely worrying.
The Irish language is becoming a more contentious issue.
“Surely it is time to acknowledge that, after students have completed the Junior Certificate, they should be offered the choice to take Irish to Leaving Certificate level. Of course, every student would have a guaranteed right to study Irish until the Leaving Certificate in all post-primary schools. With proper reform of the curriculum, Fine Gael believes the vast majority of young people would choose to learn Irish.
“Irish needs to be taught in such a way that makes it more accessible and attractive for students to voluntarily take it on as a subject. That is the heart of the matter.” Brian Hayes TD April 2010
Secretary of Clare Young Fine Gael, Rebecca Gregan is doing her Leaving Certificate this year and her feelings on the matter are clear. She believes that there is even more pressure to perform this year because there is such a massive increase in applications for 3rd level. People see the state of the economy and are afraid to go straight out into the work-force so most are continuing in further education.
There is also the possibility that fees could come back.”
The following is a quote I saw on a Leaving Cert forum for students and sums it up for many students:
“Sigh. I can’t believe its June. I keep saying it, but I hate how fast this year has gone. I don’t feel the slightest bit ready. When I think of the Leaving Cert as a whole, I start freaking out, yet when I think about it in terms of separate subjects it doesn’t seem so scary. I guess we all just have to keep doing that, taking it one day at a time, subject by subject. We’re GRAND.”
Here is another:
“I suppose the thing that really bugs me about this Loser Club (LC, geddit? I’m too cool!), is the discernible lack of social contact outside of school hours. I seem to have acquired an acute adroitness in the area of being wont and almost accepting of not going out. Conversely, as my social life is dying a slow and utterly torturous death, my peers seem to be venturing “on da beer” even more. Oh woe am I”
Words of advice from people in the know:
“Study hard, but don’t forget about your friends and your life outside these exams. It’s easy to get swallowed up and obsess over the small details, exam technique and getting all these exams done. If you haven’t done it in a while, go out and have some fun for a few hours with your mates! That’s an order!”
To join Young Fine Gael go to YFG.ie.
Google: Clare Young Fine Gael.