Time For Students To Reflect On Junior Cert Results And Plan For The Future

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With the release of Junior Certificate results today, Billy Ryle says students should reflect and choose wisely for the senior cycle…

Michaela Lenihan, Petr Olah, Nikita Malovs and Jasmine Griffin receiving their Junior Cert results Coláiste Gleann Lí. Photo by Gavin O'Connor.

Michaela Lenihan, Petr Olah, Nikita Malovs and Jasmine Griffin receiving their Junior Cert results Coláiste Gleann Lí. Photo by Gavin O’Connor.

THERE were 60,247 candidates nationwide – 29672 female/30575 male – who received their Junior Cert exam results today.

The results nationwide are excellent and well deserved after three years of dedicated study. Kerry’s 1813 candidates – 894 female/919 males – performed superbly and easily maintained the standard of previous years.

I would strongly encourage all Junior Cert candidates, including the 722 re-entrant to education candidates (mature, etc.) to continue onto Leaving Cert cycle. A good education is the passport to knowledge, a good quality of life and a fulfilling career.

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Of course, today is a day to celebrate the Junior Cert results but the young people concerned should do so sensibly and safely.

The Junior Cert exam is often overshadowed by the more public Leaving Cert exam but it’s a very important exam in its own right. With very few students now leaving school after this exam, the Junior Cert is a passport to Senior Cycle education, which is a further two years – three years if the optional Transition Year is included.

The traditional Leaving Cert exam, a Level 5 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), is the terminal exam of post-primary education. Students usually study seven subjects including Irish, English and Mathematics. All subjects are available at higher and ordinary level. A foundation level paper is also available in Irish and Mathematics.

The Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) ), also a Level 5 qualification on the NFQ, is similar to the traditional Leaving Cert, with a concentration on technical subjects and some additional modules called Link Modules, which have a vocational focus.

The Leaving Cert Applied (LCA), a Level 4 qualification on the NFQ, is a self-contained two-year course, which meets the needs of students who are not adequately catered for by the other Leaving Cert programmes. It is a person-centred course involving a cross-curricular approach rather than a subject based structure.

Most schools will now give those students not taking the TY option a few days to firm up their subject grouping for Senior Cycle. Students should make the most of this opportunity to carefully consider their Leaving Cert subject choice, think about their course options and the related careers. In the end, they should choose wisely as this is the first step on the path to college.

Congratulations to all candidates, especially the 1,813 candidates, from Kerry on their outstanding results in the Junior Cert exam.

• Billy Ryle is a Career Guidance Counsellor/Freelance writer

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