‘It’s an absolute and utter disgrace’ – Student denied place in veterinary medicine at UCD over Leaving Cert mark error

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on September 25th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An 18-year-old student whose Leaving Cert marks were wrongly totted up by an examiner says the error which has denied her a place in veterinary medicine at UCD is an ‘absolute and utter disgrace’ …” (more)

[Aodhan O Faolain and Ray Managh, Independent, 25 September]

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Court told Leaving Cert error correction delay ‘unfair’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on September 25th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Lawyers for an 18-year-old student, who claims she was denied a place in UCD to study veterinary medicine due to an error totting up marks in one of her Leaving Certificate papers, have told the High Court the decision not to rectify the issue immediately is irrational and unfair …” (more)

[Orla O’Donnell, RTÉ News, 25 September]

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Student whose Leaving Cert results were wrongly totted up takes High Court action

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on September 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An 18-year-old Co Wexford student, whose Leaving Cert marks were wrongly totted up by an examiner, could lose her chance of a place in a college veterinary medicine course, the High court has been told …” (more)

[Ray Managh, Irish Times, 11 September]

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The Leaving Cert, the national fixation

Posted in Teaching on August 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“August is a maddening time if you work in education especially during that period when the Leaving Cert results are issued and the CAO offers announced. Twitter and the media are full of ‘commentators’, the majority of whom suggest that the Leaving Cert is ‘not fit for purpose’, while failing to mention what that purpose might be. There are a number of types …” (more)

[Greg Foley, An Irish Blog about Education, 21 August]

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Age, Memory and Learning

Posted in Teaching on August 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Today’s a big day for prospective students at Irish universities. It’s the day when the Central Applications Office (CAO, the equivalent of the UK’s UCAS) makes offers of places to students based the Leaving Certificate results that were announced last week …” (more)

[In the Dark, 20 August]

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Girls outperform boys in majority of Leaving Cert subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Girls outperformed boys in the vast majority of higher level subjects, a gender analysis of this year’s Leaving Cert results shows. In all, girls secured a higher proportion of top grades – H1s, H2s and H3s, or 70-100% – in 34 out of 40 subjects at higher level. Maths was one of just seven subjects at higher level where boys fared better than girls …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 August]

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Bruton plays down high failure rate in ordinary level maths

Posted in Teaching on August 16th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said officials will examine whether there are ‘lessons to be learned’ from the volume of students who failed ordinary level maths in this year’s Leaving Cert exam. However, he played down concerns over the issue and said the proportion of failures at ordinary level was linked to greater numbers taking on the higher level paper …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Number of students who got over 400 points on the rise

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The number of Leaving Certificate candidates scoring high points for college entry has jumped since the changes to the exam grading system and CAO points scale. Figures from the CAO show that 11.9% of students achieved between 500 to 599 points this year, compared with 9.6% in 2016. There are also other candidates with 600 points, and even more if they have the ‘honours’ maths bonus …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 August]

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Leaving Cert and rote memorisation

Posted in Teaching on August 16th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Your Editorial (‘A signpost, not a destination’, August 15th) says in relation to our two-year Leaving Cert course: ‘A new study by Dr Denise Burns of DCU indicates that rote learning (sic) continues to dominate over critical thinking’. It’s true that rote memorisation dominance exists. It’s also true that critical thinking shortcomings can be rectified easily – and ought to be, for level-playing field purposes – during the first semesters of third-level courses …” (more)

[Joe Foyle, Irish Times, 16 August]

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Engineering body concerned at number of students sitting Leaving Cert STEM subjects

Posted in Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The representative body for engineers in Ireland has raised concerns over the number of students sitting STEM subjects in this year’s Leaving Cert, saying 2018 has not seen a marked increase for the first time in several years. Results obtained from the State Examinations Commission has shown that almost one-third of Leaving Certificate students sat the higher-level mathematics paper in 2018, a figure that has more than doubled when compared to 2011 …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 15 August]

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More than 3,700 Leaving Cert pupils fail maths exam

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“More than 3,700 students have failed their Leaving Cert maths papers, effectively locking them out of many third-level courses which require a pass as a basic entry requirement. The bulk of those who failed to secure a pass grade sat the ordinary-level paper where the failure rate was just under 10% …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Increase in students opting for higher level papers

Posted in Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The results of the 2018 Leaving Cert indicate an increase in the number and percentage of students opting for higher level papers. This trend is driven in part by the movement downwards from 40% to 30% of what constitutes a failure in the eyes of third-level colleges, and many students have responded to this change by opting to study higher level subjects …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Leaving Cert system favours wealthier students, study finds

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 13th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Certificate programme places problem solving, critical thinking and creativity secondary to rote learning and recall, a new five-year research study has found. The study indicated that skills such as remembering and understanding were prioritised above evaluation and creativity, which were found to be largely absent from the examination papers in many subjects …” (more)

[Louise Roseingrave, Irish Times, 13 August]

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When you are obliged to challenge colleagues in public

Posted in Teaching on August 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I wrote this letter to the Irish Times the other day. Despite the fact that the letter challenged, in public, the work of DCU colleagues, I felt I had to do it because I can see where the conversation is heading. People will use the fact that school-leavers lack some very easy-to-teach skills (like using scientific databases rather than Google, or referencing sources properly) to justify doing a Junior Cycle on the Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Greg Foley, An Irish Blog about Education, 10 August]

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Leaving Cert not preparing students for university, DCU study finds

Posted in Teaching on August 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A university study has found Leaving Cert students feel poorly qualified to identify sources of information in the era of fake news. The survey of 304 first year students in Dublin City University (DCU) found nearly two-thirds did not feel the Leaving Cert taught them how to think independently or identify sources of information …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 8 August]

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Teachers want 30% pay rise for correcting State exams

Posted in Teaching on June 23rd, 2018 by steve

“Teachers’ unions have called for urgent talks with the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to address a joint pay claim and avoid it having to hire individuals without teaching qualifications to correct State exam papers next year. The call for talks comes after it emerged that a shortage of available qualified teachers has forced to the SEC to recruit individuals without any teaching qualifications to correct some of this year’s Junior and Leaving Cert papers …” (more)

[Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 22 June]

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People without teaching qualifications to mark exams

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2018 by steve

“The State Examinations Commission is hiring individuals without any teaching qualifications to correct students’ Junior and Leaving Cert papers due to a shortage of qualified staff. The development has sparked concerns over the standard of correcting and accusations that the integrity of the State exams is at risk …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 June]

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Leaving Cert urgently needs to be reformed

Posted in Teaching on June 11th, 2018 by steve

“We come to it again, that rite of passage for tens of thousands of young Irish men and women: the Leaving Cert. As if it were running to an annual schedule, early June’s balmy weather signals two weeks of last-minute cramming, late nights, early rises and frayed nerves …” (more)

[Clive Byrne, Irish Times, 11 June]

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More to education than chasing points

Posted in Teaching on June 8th, 2018 by steve

“Sir, – With the ‘grind-school culture’ now prevalent in Ireland, the rich and holistic education experienced by young people of the last two decades is now under threat. Education in Ireland is no longer viewed as an end in itself, an enlarging of horizons, and an opportunity to develop as a person, but as something that has shrunk to a narrow portal through which to access third-level education …” (more)

[Eileen O’Donnell, Irish Times, 8 June]

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More Leaving Cert students than ever taking higher level subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 5th, 2018 by steve

“The proportion of Leaving Cert students taking on higher level subjects has climbed to a new high. It is a sign that pupils are trying to make the most from recent changes to the CAO points system which reward students for what used to be E grades, or fails …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 5 June]

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