The qualification for attending this certificate exam is three years of secondary education or 14 years of age.1
The Third year exam is called 9th grade and sixth year exam is called 12th grade. The third year exam is called junior certificate and sixth year exam is called leaving certificate. This leaving certificate can be termed as basis for higher education. If a student fails to qualify, he/she can take the examination next year. This is not as easy as it was said. The literature part changes from year to year.2 This make difficult for the students who fail in the first attempt to pass in the next attempt. The changes in some subjects will nullify their effort in the previous year and this makes the efforts in previous year not useful in the second attempt. This is capable of making some weak minded students to drop out if they fail in first attempt.
Ireland introduced free secondary education in 1967. This has opened up secondary and the third level education to the people who till now, could not afford to attend to school.1 Though the secondary education completion rates are very high according to international standards, there is no statistical proof that all the primary school promoted students are enrolling them selves to secondary level education. This tells that the secondary level education or junior certificate curriculum is doing nothing to prevent dropouts from the schools.
The optional subjects must be ch...
Irish, English, Mathematics, Civic Social and political education, social, personal and health education.
The social personal and health education subject was not examined. It is not mandatory to pass in this examination.
The optional subjects must be chosen from the ancient Greek, art, craft and designing, business studies, classical studies, environmental and social studies, French, Geography, German, Hebrew studies, Home economics, Italian, Latin, materials technology wood, metal work, music, religious education, science Spanish, technical graphics, technology and type writing.
The students have to study the five or 8 more optional subjects along with four mandatory subjects. The final exam will be after 3 years. The higher in this certificate is known as honours and ordinary one is considered as pass. The honours level will be taken for optional subjects.
Development of Secondary Education in Ireland
Before the World War II, the secondary education in Ireland was not up to the mark and even expensive. In the post war period, free education was provided till the age of 14 for every child. The tripartite system was introduced in that period. At the final year of their primary education children used to take the eleven + examination. After that they were sent to secondary modern, secondary technical or grammar schools.
After 1950 the tripartite system was not found viable and the comprehensive schools gradually increased across Ireland.
The comprehensives schools established in 50s structured themselves on the basis of the grammar school. After 1960 an alternative model was offered by introducing the progressive ideals in the education curriculum. Discipline and character were given due importance.
After 1970 a large number of comprehensive schools