The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has congratulated students receiving their Leaving Certificate results today, highlighting the wide breadth of options open to school-leavers.
The Union has said that the hard-earned public trust that the system currently enjoys must be maintained throughout the senior cycle redevelopment process.
Comments from TUI President Liz Farrell:
Congratulations on your achievements!
‘We congratulate students receiving their results today and compliment them on their resilience, given the disruption caused to their studies by the pandemic. We acknowledge their hard work and their commitment to their studies in tough circumstances. Wherever they might go from here, this fortitude will benefit them in the coming years.’
Wide range of choices open to students
‘The Leaving Certificate examination is a stepping stone on an educational pathway. While many know a direct route that they wish to take, for others the pathway is more difficult to navigate. Overall, education is a lifelong pursuit and there is a diverse range of choices available to school-leavers.’
‘Along with the options in Technological Universities/Institutes of Technology and Universities, students should keep in mind the significant choices in Further Education/Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) colleges, which are located across the country, offering top quality standalone qualifications with the option of progression to higher education and training upon graduation.’
‘In addition, the new joint programmes between Further and Higher Education are a significant development in moving away from the CAO system. TUI will continue to work closely with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) to ensure that appropriate resources are made available for these programmes.’
State certification and external assessment must be maintained
‘The brand that is the Leaving Certificate is recognised and trusted beyond these shores. As the redevelopment of senior cycle progresses, the integrity of the system cannot be put at risk.’
‘While the TUI acknowledges the widely-held concerns that the Leaving Certificate is a high pressure examination, changes must have educational value and be based upon meaningful engagement with the professionals within the sector. We welcomed the Minister’s intention to set the value of additional components of assessment such as orals, aurals, project and portfolio work at a minimum of 40% of the substantive grade. Already, the majority of 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 must be maintained as we move forward.’
‘We will continue to engage in a meaningful, professional way with the redevelopment process.’
CAO points obsession
‘Yet again, unfortunately, much of the discourse at this time of year focuses on points alone. Students should remember that these numbers do not define them as a person - they are simply a regrettable by-product of a national obsession with progression to third level.’