George Frederic Handel Hotel

George Frederic Handel Hotel
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Leaving Cert Junior Cert

Good Luck Everyone

More than 116,000 students will this morning begin the Leaving and Junior Cert exams.
Last night, Minister for Education and Skills RuairĂ­ Quinn sent his best wishes to students, who, he said, were getting “the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills across a range of areas. This marks an important milestone in their lives”.
Exams in 90 subjects, including those at higher, ordinary and foundation levels, will take place in exam centres across the country. In addition, native speakers from other EU countries will sit examinations in their mother tongues at Leaving Certificate level in 15 non-curricular languages, such as Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian.
Mr Quinn expressed concern at the continuing decline in the number taking higher-level maths in the Leaving. A record low of only 10,435 candidates are registered to take the exam this year.
He hoped various Government initiatives would help to reverse the trend. These include the introduction of the Project Maths course, the planned bonus points for maths due next year and the Government’s national plan for literacy and numeracy.
This year, students in 24 schools will sit a new examination paper in the Junior Certificate in mathematics (Paper 2) for the first time, following the introduction of Project Maths in 2008.
In all, 14 Libyan students will sit the Leaving Cert in Ireland. They were due to take the exam at ISM International School in Tripoli – but cannot do so because of the security situation.
The school is still open, but Irish exam supervisors cannot travel there. An alternative provision to host the exams in Malta fell through because of visa problems.
Four candidates are taking the Leaving at the Institute of Education in Leeson Street, nine in Cork and one in Limerick.
One of the candidates, Joumana Ben Younes, arrived on Monday for the exam, having spent a month in Tunis awaiting her visa.
Her travails put the usual pre-exam stresses into perspective. “There has been a lot of fighting and shooting every night. It has been really difficult with the Gadafy military. We’re really scared of them. They are doing atrocities to the population.”
She is taking eight subjects (six higher and two lower), with a view to studying economics and politics abroad. “We just don’t have any international universities in Libya.”
Bozhidara Boyadzhieva, born in Libya of Bulgarian parents, managed to leave Libya before foreigners looking to escape overwhelmed the airport and seaports. She hopes to study international law in the Netherlands and is taking five higher-level and two ordinary-level subjects.
Moad Hesham Ben Zeghlam, a Libyan, is taking four higher and two ordinary-level exams.
Stefan Bozic, whose parents are Serbian, has also had visa problems. He had to spend two months in Slovenian capital Ljubljana awaiting a visa.
He is taking five higher and two ordinary-level subjects, and has applied to five universities to study civil engineering. “I’m predicting Bs,” he said.
Deirdre Walsh, the Institute of Education’s international officer, said the institute will try and help other Leaving Certificate students next year if the situation in Libya has not stabilised.
“They will have wasted their own second level if they can’t do their Leaving Certificate,” she said.

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