The Leaving Certificate results are out today.
The Irish Leaving Certificate is roughly equivalent to the UK’s A-Level Certificates and a lot depends on it. For example, any entry into third level education is determined by the number of points received. The cut off level is itself determined by the number of applicants and their average scores.
The problem this year of course is that there were no Leaving Certificate exams. They were cancelled in case the little buggers caught the Virus.
Now this causes an immense problem. How are third level colleges to determine entry levels? How will this year’s school leavers be judged by future employers? The incredibly ingenious answer was to award points on what the teachers thought the kids might have achieved had they sat the exam.
The results are out today, and surprise, surprise, suddenly average points have jumped by 4%. I think I read somewhere that they actually jumped by 25% but the Department of Ejukashun decided that was a bit much and toned things down a shade.
The problem is of course that the playing field and the rules of the game are completely different to previous years and so any college or employer is going to take a look at the results and say “ah – 2020 results!” and promptly make radical mental adjustments accordingly. I know I would.
Of course college places should in theory be allocated fairly, in that the right percentages will be offered the available spaces based of the overall results. But what about those who sat their exams last year and deferred their college applications for a year? Suddenly they find themselves competing with kids who have been judged by completely different criteria? I know if I were a student of ’19 I would be thoroughly pissed off and would demand to be examined under the new system.
I don’t think our gubmint thought this one through?