I wanted to write this article as I felt like I was completely alone in my opinions on Leaving Cert 2021, but I know I’m not and that other people feel the same.
Unfortunately, certain opinions are being lost in the discussion whether it’s being overshadowed by “mental health advocates” or politicians “politicising” our education and future to further their campaigns and agenda.
I believe that predicted grades would be the absolute worst option the government could choose for both our futures and our mental health.
No Easy Solution
Unfortunately, there is no easy way out of this mess for the government when it comes to the leaving cert but they are definitely making it harder for themselves. As I’m writing this it looks like we won’t be going back to as planned on Monday the 11th of January.
I understand that cases are high, but why can’t just leaving certs return to school to ease the concerns of both teachers worrying about their health (rightly so) and students worrying about not finishing projects, course work, etc. All of this uncertainty is really what is causing people to panic and turn to the idea of predicted grades, whereas if we were (safely) back in school I think people would see that they are not the only option.
Predicted Grades Were A Mess
Last year’s predicted grades were a complete mess, and if you believe they will be better this year you are either extremely positive or naive. People unfairly upgraded, people unfairly downgraded, it was basically like playing the lottery. In a lot of cases, it was not based on merit but instead on a faulty algorithm. This is our future and it’s crazy to put it in the hands of a system that does not work.
I fully agree that the Leaving Cert is 100% flawed, but January of the exam year is not the time to change it. Sitting exams is the only truly fair option, even though it will definitely be hard but I believe we can do it and that it won’t be as difficult as we perceive it to be.
Decisions Need To Be Made Now
I also think that practicals and orals should be cancelled and cancelled now. Not 3 days before they’re set to go ahead. This will give us even more time and energy to focus on finishing coursework and completing the written the best we possibly can.
All this uncertainty is causing so much panic and anxiety amongst students, who are just trying their best to stay motivated when they really don’t know what they are staying motivated for.
I think that the government needs to listen to both viewpoints of students, and not just the ones that are most vocal online. All of our opinions matter and they should all be heard.