Leaving the Leaving Cert

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So the fuss is almost all over for 2013’s Leaving Cert students. I say nearly, because there is still the bevy of first- and second-round college offers to look forward to.

Preliminary reports in the media have exhibited an almost obsessive tendency to cite numbers: students who sat Higher Maths, and the percentage of them that passed or failed; or the amount of students that sat science- and technology-related subjects.

Of course students’ performances in the STEM subjects (that is, science, technology, engineering and maths) is bound to be the focus of post-results discussion because these are the subject areas in which we’ve invested our hopes for economic salvation.

No doubt we’ll come back to those statistics and what they may mean in another blog. It’s important, after all.  What we should concentrate on for now though, and for the next couple of days at least, is the achievement of completing the Leaving Cert. It’s a difficult, high-pressure and time-consuming rite of passage for young people. It takes courage (I still have nightmares about my Leaving Cert, and it’s always the maths exam!).

You’ve all had to put up with parents, teachers, reporters and fellow students talking about study and exam preparation; talking about what you should be doing; about life after school and college. You’ve spent time concentrating your energy (or your energy not concentrating!) on some point in the future, and for longer than you care to remember. You overcame the nerves, and entered the exam hall as if walking in to a furnace, but you came back to tell the tale and now it’s all over. Pretty much.

For now, all we can say is well done for getting there, wherever you are.


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