Concern Over Maths Leaving Cert Results

This years Leaving Cert results are in, but for many math students, the day will be tainted as high failure rates in the subject have become the main talking point.

Some 4,300 students failed the maths exam, while failure rates in science subjects at both higher and ordinary level were far higher than in other subjects.

Almost 58,000 students are awaiting their results this morning, which are available directly from schools and can be accessed online from midday. So far, this year's results are in line with previous years despite the high failure figure for mathematics.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan TD, today congratulated students, parents and teachers following the release of the Leaving Certificate examination results saying students across the country should be proud of their achievements and "look forward to the future with confidence".

Despite the disappointing results for maths, Ms Coughlan said that overall, she was pleased to see the results are broadly in line with previous years and welcomed the results for new branch of the subject, Project Maths, which were in line with general trends.

This year some 1,818 candidates in 24 schools sat a different Paper 2 in Mathematics, as part of the Project Maths initiative as part of a programme designed to encourage better understanding of maths, to reinforce the practical relevance of maths to everyday life, and to ensure better continuity between primary and second level, the Tánaiste said.

Ms Coughlan said: "In science, there have also been further increases in participation rates in Chemistry and Biology, but participation in Physics was down 0.4% to 12.4% this year.

"Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are considered to be the engines of growth and innovation in the smart economy, and I would urge students who have performed well in the examinations in these subjects to consider careers in these areas."

Meanwhile, Ruairi Quinn, Labour's Spokesperson on Education and Science, said he wanted to congratulate all those who have achieved such outstanding results in their Leaving Certificate examinations. However, Mr Quinn said today’s results showed reform of the Leaving Certificate Maths and Science subjects had never been more necessary.

"There is a need for a fundamental reform of the maths syllabus at higher, ordinary and foundation level so that students can choose their level based on aptitude, rather than a pressure for points or fear of failure. The Tánaiste cannot afford to postpone reform for another year.

"I welcome the Project Maths reforms to the second-level maths curriculum which Labour has called for since 2006. However, we need to pay as much attention to how maths is taught and learned, as to curriculum content. This means reforming teacher in-service training that focuses on students, understanding and problem-solving skills, not just getting through the course."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 September 2013
Ministers Congratulates Students Receiving Junior Cert Results
The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, congratulated the 59,823 young people and those returning to education who are receiving their Junior Certificate results today. This is the highest number of students to sit the exams in recent years and is an increase of 1.7% on last year's number.
26 October 2009
Teachers' Qualifications 'Don't Add Up'
A parliamentary question by a member of the opposition has revealed that over a third of Maths teachers in Irish Secondary schools are not qualified in the subject. Fine Gael's Brian Hayes accused the Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe of being "asleep at the wheel" on the issue, after putting the question to him under the Freedom of Information act.
25 August 2008
Hi-tech Companies Visit Schools After Poor Results
Fifty of Ireland's leading hi-tech companies are to launch a new initiative, visiting schools to boost interest in science and technology. The plan by ICT Ireland, has been instigated following concern over the poor Leaving Cert results in maths and science.
14 September 2011
Junior Cert Results Published
Over 50,000 anxious students will open their Junior Certificate results today. More than half a million individual grades in 26 different subjects have been delivered to secondary schools nationwide. It is understood that 15 high achievers have received 12 A grades while 115 secured 11 As and 269 were awarded 10 As.
18 August 2011
'Take Pride' In Leaving Cert, Says Quinn
Ireland's Leaving Cert students should be 'rightly proud' of their achievements. The Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn has sent his congratulations to the country's 57, 532 Leaving Certificate students who are receiving their examination results today. "All of you should be rightly proud of your achievements.