Leaving Certificate is a staging post, not a final destination - TUI

By piofficer, Wednesday, 15th August 2018 | 0 comments

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has congratulated students on their Leaving Certificate results and advised them to consider continuing their education in areas that engage them most.

The union has highlighted the vast range of options available through the apprenticeship system or in Further Education colleges around the country.

TUI has stated that in order to maintain the attractiveness of teaching as an option, equal pay for all teachers must be restored.

Speaking today, TUI President Seamus Lahart said:

‘We congratulate students on the application and dedication that they have demonstrated in achieving their results. They should look at continuing their studies in those areas that engage them most.

Now more than ever, the Leaving Certificate is a staging post, not a final destination. Therefore, if you did not receive the results that you had hoped for, you should remember that learning is a lifelong pursuit and that there have never been more avenues and opportunities open to you to pursue your chosen course.

In this regard, students should consider apprenticeship options across an ever-expanding range of disciplines. These can lead to fulfilling and successful careers.

In addition to third level options in Institutes of Technology and Universities, students should also consider the wide breadth of choices in Further Education/Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) colleges around the country. These courses offer high quality standalone qualifications with the option of further education and training upon graduation.

While all students deserve praise today, special tribute should be paid to those mature students who took the brave decision to return to education. In addition, there are many students receiving results today who may only have acquired English relatively recently, some of whom have overcome difficulties unimaginable to the rest of us.

The role of parents and guardians should always be remembered. Their unstinting support and encouragement provided a solid base to students. Many will have made huge personal sacrifices - all too often at times of severe financial hardship - to give their children every chance.’

Equal pay for equal work

‘Irish teachers work longer hours than international averages, providing a first class education service on a daily basis to learners of all abilities. It continues to be a disgrace and a professional insult that many are paid at a lesser rate than their colleague across the corridor for carrying out the same work with the same energy, commitment and dedication.

Another cohort will today take a step towards becoming teachers themselves, and the profession must remain attractive if it is to continue to attract the best graduates. The unacceptable discrimination of pay inequality must end.’

Continuing fall in numbers taking LCA a concern

‘We note the continuing, significant fall in number of students taking the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) option. Since 2010, there has been a fall of over 19% in the number of students opting for the programme, with a drop from 3,358 to 2,709 over the eight year period. This is as a direct result of cuts to both the pupil-teacher ratio and funding for the programme. The LCA programme offers a valuable alternative programme to students for whom the traditional Leaving Certificate wouldn’t necessarily suit their educational needs. This fall in numbers is a very real example of the deleterious effects of education cutbacks.’

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