'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. Today is the culmination of many years of hard work and I hope that your dedication is reflected in the results that you receive today," said Minister Quinn.

The overall number of students sitting the examinations this year is slightly down on last year.

Two thirds of those who took the exams sat the Established Leaving Cert Programme, with 28.5% opting for the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and the remaining 5.5% taking the Leaving Cert Applied Programme.

Of the 57,532 students who sat the exams, 3,616 were external candidates and 2,947 students were repeat candidates.

The Minister also congratulated parents, teachers and the State Exams Commission on the publication of the results today. He urged students and their families to carefully consider the options now open to them.

"There are a host of opportunities for our young people at university, Institutes of Technology, colleges, post leaving certificate courses and further education and training.

"No one needs reminding that the economic conditions are difficult, so it is more important than ever that our school leavers equip themselves with the skills needed for the 21st century," said Minister Quinn.

The Minister noted that the results in Maths and Science are broadly in line with previous years. Project Maths is now in its second year as an examination subject for the 24 participating schools.

"The slightly higher number of students taking higher level Project Maths compared to traditional Maths is to be welcomed," said Minister Quinn.

"But I do acknowledge that we have some work to do in order to increase the numbers of our students taking higher level Maths in general.

"I am hopeful that the continued roll-out of Project Maths and also the 25 bonus points which will be introduced for next year's Leaving Cert students will improve these figures."

The Minister also welcomed a significant increase of 3.7% in the number of students taking Biology this year. He also welcomed the increased numbers of students who achieved honours in higher-level Irish this year at 84%.

Minister Quinn added: "There are some young people today who will be disappointed with their results. I would appeal to these students and their families to seriously consider repeating their exams. You are not a failure if you decide to give it a go again and it certainly is not a wasted year.

"If this one year gives you the opportunity to attack the exams afresh and achieve the third level course you have your heart set on, then it is certainly worth it," he said.


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