Yesterday was D Day for 3,000 Galway students who received their Leaving Cert results, and they now face an agonising five-day wait before CAO offers are released on Monday.
Speaking to the Galway Advertiser, principal of St Jarlath's College in Tuam, John Kelly, who had some 100 boys sitting the Leaving Cert, said the results were very solid. The highest result in the school was 605 points - the student received the additional bonus for sitting the higher level maths paper. "It was an amazing result and we also had a good group in the 500 plus category. Thankfully the students were generally very happy, and across the board results were good, there were no major shocks."
However, Mr Kelly said it was a pity that pupils must wait until next Monday to find out if they had managed to secure their chosen course. "Leaving Cert results day is a big day with big pressure, students are anxiously totting up points and it is unfortunate the offers don't come out on the same day. Some courses can move significantly, so it is very hard to know where you stand, especially if you are not well over last years figure."
Dominican College principal Alan Kinsella was also happy with the performance of the students at the all girls school in Taylor's Hill. One sixth year student received the full quota of points after securing 6 A1 grades. "We are very pleased with this year's Leaving Cert results which were well above the national averages across the board. The girls worked very hard in the run up to the exams and their effort and dedication paid off. We are very proud of all our students' achievements and wish them every success as they progress on to further study."
Calasanctius College principal Córa Ní Loinsigh said there was plenty of happy faces in Oranmore yesterday morning. "Calasanctius students were jumping for joy on receiving their fantastic results. A significant number of students achieved above 500 and 600 points. It was a wonderful sight to see so many ecstatic students as they celebrated with their peers and parents on achieving their goal. Congratulations to one and all and we hope that the next pathway these young people take in life brings them great joy and happiness."
Nationally, the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, was happy that results and trends were on par with previous years. "The increase in participation at higher level mathematics has been maintained in 2016, with 28 per cent sitting the higher level paper this year, compared to 15.8 per cent in 2011. Twenty per cent of candidates took Physics and 11.4 per cent of the student population took chemistry in 2016. These are welcome trends in the context of the Government’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths ) agenda."
The Minister said that as the economy moves out of a very difficult period, many new opportunities have opened up for young people in the further education and training sector, including traineeships and apprenticeships, as well as in the third level sector. He urged students and parents to think carefully about their options, and to seek advice where they are uncertain. "There are more course and career options than ever before available to students to consider after their Leaving Certificate. There is a wide range of other training and education opportunities available alongside those offered through the CAO process, such as apprenticeships and post Leaving Certificate courses. We are also developing new apprenticeship pathways to expand opportunities for the future. So whatever your results - there is something out there for you."