More than 2,000 Donegal Leaving Certificate students were among the more than 52,000 students around the country who received their exam results yesterday.
While results were available online from about noon yesterday, educators who were contacted by the Donegal Democrat suggested that most students still prefer to learn their results in the traditional way, by collecting them in person.
In all, 55,815 students received their results nationally yesterday, 2,046 of them in Donegal. Of the Donegal students, 1,039 were young women and 1,007 were young men.
In addition, 275 Donegal students sat the Leaving Certificate Applied examinations.
RTÉ reported yesterday that the 35 per cent national increase in the number of people who sat the higher level maths paper exceeded expectations. The broadcaster reported that about 98 percent of those who sat the paper would receive the 25 bonus Central Applications Office (CAO) points the paper was eligible for this year.
There was also a rise of 11 percent in the number of students who sat the higher level Irish paper, following a change in marking that this year awarded 40 per cent to spoken ability in the subject. In the past, the oral component received 25 per cent.
A number of principals contacted by the Democrat indicated that their school’s results mirrored those national trends. Several schools in the county also reported students reaching 600 points or more in their results.
Local councillors and TDs were among those to extend their congratulations to Donegal’s Leaving Cert students yesterday.
Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal North East, also urged the government to ensure there were sufficient places in third-level studies.
“We are concerned at the potential significant increase in points across a number of courses particularly those courses that are essential to the knowledge economy, such as science and technology courses where there will undoubtedly be increased competition for places,” Deputy McConalogue said. “If points increase dramatically then more places need to be put on stream.”
Fine Gael Cllr. Martin Harley said he was encouraged to see the number of students taking the higher-level maths paper increase to 22.1 per cent from 15.8 per cent last year. “Similarly, there were changes with regards to Irish,” he said.
“Undoubtedly many students will now anxiously await offers from the CAO, but those who might be disappointed today should be reminded by those around them that there are many alternative routes now available to higher education,” Cllr. Harley said.
Sinn Féin Cllr. Cora Harvey commended the students who collected their Leaving Cert results yesterday, calling the milestone, “the culmination of all of the hard work and effort put in over the last two years”.
The councillor said students who may be disappointed with the results they achieved may be able to explore other paths to achieve their chosen career or course.
She recommended that students disappointed with their results should speak to their parents, career guidance councillors, teachers and admissions officers.
“There is help and guidance available and you can succeed in your chosen career path,” she said. The councillor also urged students to socialise responsibly in the coming days.
“Of course, this is a time to enjoy spending time with friends before college starts and students set off on their different paths but as young adults, leaving their school days behind, responsible decisions should be made,” she said.
See page 5 for responses from educators and schools around the county.