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JUNIOR Cert students were celebrating their results today

Posted by Francis O' Toole on September 12, 2012

By Katherine Donnelly
Wednesday September 12 2012

JUNIOR Cert students were celebrating their results today, including the top-scoring 19 who achieved 12 As.

Many schools delayed the release of the results to pupils until at least lunchtime in order to keep a rein on celebrations.

As 59,798 student got the news, parents and the drinks trade were urged to be vigilant of underage drinking.

Jackie O’Callaghan, PRO of the National Parents Council post primary (NPCpp), said parents and young people needed to communicate with each other about any plans they are making.

She said parents should be involved in their child’s celebrations, and to know where and with whom they are going.

“It is vital to provide transport to and from their celebrations, and to ensure that all venues offering celebratory discos or similar events are alcohol-free,” she said.

Students planning on going out this evening were urged to stick with friends and were warned that alcohol is the most common drug used to facilitate sexual assaults in Ireland.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said there is always an increase in calls to its 24-hour helpline 1800 77 88 88 when both the Leaving Cert and the Junior Cert exam results are released.

Friends should stay in groups and mind each others’ drinks, she said.

“Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or with someone, leave as soon as possible. Remember: eight out of 10 victims are raped by someone known to them,” she said.

Some 600,000 individual grades in 26 different subjects will be opened in schools around the country.

A total of 19 pupils achieved 12 As in the state exam with 108 getting 11 As and another 259 getting 10.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said he hopes the results reflect the hard work put in.

“I am particularly pleased to see that more young people are sitting higher-level maths, which is a stated aim of Project Maths,” he said.

“This increase has occurred even without the carrot of bonus points for maths, whose introduction this year at Leaving Cert level saw a large leap in the numbers opting for the higher-level paper. I hope this is an indication of where we are going with maths.”

The overall numbers sitting the Junior Cert jumped 3.4pc but the proportion of candidates re-entering the education system is down from 1.9pc to 1.7pc.

In the most popular subject, English, more candidates sat the higher-level paper than in the previous five years.

Almost half of students opted for higher-level maths, while 24 schools were involved in the Project Maths pilot, figures show.

Business group Ibec called for an overhaul of the subject-based curriculum and said science should be positioned as a core compulsory subject.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) raised concerns about the low number of students taking modern languages, particularly German, Spanish and Italian.

TUI president Gerard Craughwell said: “There has been much discourse on the importance of boosting science and maths within the education system, but it has become somewhat lost in this debate that modern languages are also hugely important in terms of meeting economic needs. There is clear concern at the relatively low numbers of language graduates being produced.”

(Additional reporting Press Association)

– Katherine Donnelly

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