Over 60,000 students received their eagerly awaited leaving certificate results this morning, after the state examination was cancelled back in May and replaced with a predicted grade model of marking.
Minister of Education Norma Foley TD said that today is “a very different day from what we had anticipated,” and does “appreciate what an especially difficult time [students] have had over the past six months, and I want to commend [students] for the patience, courage and resilience [they] have shown in that time.”
Minister Foley said the “creation of the calculated grades system came about to ensure there would be a mechanism to enable the class of 2020 to progress to work or further and higher education on completion of [their] second level school experience.
“This has been a challenging time for students, their families and school communities. However, I do believe what has been created is the fairest possible solution given the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves as we journey together through the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
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Drinkaware, a charity working to reduce alcohol abuse in Ireland, says it is encouraging parents to speak to their children about celebrating their results safely.
The call comes as Drinkaware’s Alcohol & COVID-19 Barometer1 found that 82% of 18-24s report drinking for social reasons including celebrating and ‘because it’s fun’ (compared to 49% national average).
The new research also revealed that 62% of under-25s report drinking to cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and loneliness, and one in four are drinking more during COVID-19.
Sheena Horgan, Drinkaware CEO, said: “This is a year like no other and the Leaving Cert Class of 2020 is facing unprecedented stress, anxiety and uncertainty.
“Drinkaware is always being asked by parents how and when they should discuss alcohol with their children and young people.
“Especially at this time and regarding the results, we advise parents to talk openly about how their young adults cope with the intense feelings of stress, or celebration, or peer pressure – all of which can be prevalent at this milestone in their lives.
“And because we know alcohol is often used as a coping strategy, it is important that parents discuss how they can manage these feelings in a healthy way and without alcohol.”