The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has congratulated those students from the class of 2022 receiving their results today, highlighting the wide breadth of options open to school-leavers.
The Union further stated that in any review or redevelopment of Senior Cycle, fairness for all students and the significant public trust that the system presently enjoys must be maintained.
Comments from TUI President Liz Farrell:
‘We congratulate all students receiving their results today and commend the resilience that they have shown in what were unprecedented, uncertain and unpredictable times. We want to acknowledge their hard work, their achievements and their commitment and diligence in difficult circumstances. Regardless of where they go from here, we have no doubt that the fortitude they have displayed will benefit them in the years to come.’
Wide range of choices open to students
‘As in any other year, with results come choices and difficulties. The Leaving Certificate examination is a stepping stone on an educational pathway. For many the direction they take is direct and obvious, for others the pathway is more difficult to navigate. Remember, education is a lifelong pursuit and there are a range of choices available to school-leavers.’
‘In addition to the options in Technological Universities/Institutes of Technology and Universities, students should keep in mind the significant breadth of choices in Further Education/Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) colleges across the country. These courses offer excellent standalone qualifications with the option of progression to higher education and training upon graduation.’
‘Gold standard’ of state certification and external assessment must be maintained
‘Earlier this year, the TUI welcomed many elements of the Minister’s announcement in relation to Senior Cycle redevelopment, but we will continue to insist that the gold standard of state certification and external assessment remain key to all developments. Public trust in the fairness of the system has been hard-earned but could be so very easily lost if we depart from what has been proven to work very well. In addition, the brand that is the Leaving Certificate is recognised and trusted beyond these shores. Fairness for all students and the integrity of the system cannot be risked.’
‘While the TUI acknowledges widely-held concerns that the Leaving Certificate is a high pressure examination, any changes must have educational value and be based upon meaningful engagement with the professionals within the sector. In this regard, TUI welcomes the value of additional components of assessment such as orals, aurals, project and portfolio work being set at a minimum of 40% of the grade. Already, 27 of 41 subjects at Senior Cycle have second – and sometimes third – components of assessment, which are externally assessed by the State Examinations Commission. This protects their integrity and reliability and this must be maintained as we move forward.’
‘We will continue to engage in a meaningful, professional way with the redevelopment process but will insist that any changes to the current model must be educationally sound, must retain the public’s high level of trust and must not add to the workload of teachers.’
CAO points obsession
‘Finally, at this time every year, much of the focus and discourse relates to points and points only. Students should remember that these numbers do not define them as a person, they are simply a regrettable result of our national obsession with progression to third level, an obsession that often distracts from the true meaning of education.’