The increased demand for science courses in the colleges and universities is set to reduce this year with the applications that the institutions for higher learning receives remaining flat. Despite the increased demand for the science coursed in the tertiary level, current leaving certificates show that there is a high failure rate across the disciplines of sciences in the secondary level. The biology subject has been shown to have an 8% failure rate at the higher levels with the ordinary levels having a 13.4% failure rate. The failure rate of physics is 7.2% at the higher level and 9.3% at the ordinary levels. In chemistry, 8.1% of the students fail at the higher level while 18.1% fail at the ordinary level.
Biology has also been named as the hardest subject for the student to be able to attain an honor with a score of 69.9% been given a grade of either A, B or C. out the three main subjects for science, namely biology, physics and chemistry, biology is the only subject that attracts large student numbers with a total of 31,500 students taking the biology exam this year. Physics is unpopular among the students especially the girls with a total of 1,586 girls taking the exam in comparison with 5,091 boys. Chemistry is a bit more popular with a total of 8,155 students sitting for the exam.
Growing indications have shown that the science crisis being experienced in the secondary level may be as a result of failure in the subject at the primary schools. In a report released last month, concerns were highlighted on the amount of time that science subject at primary school was taught. The reports also showed that children in Irish were receiving fewer instructions when it came to the science subjects than those in the rest of the world.
The Leaving Cert results that were released by the SEC (State Examinations Commission) came with a few surprises. When looking at the overall performance of the students, the results were okay though failure rates in some certain areas raised a few concerns. This was more so in the science subjects even though these failure rates were consistent with those of the past few years. From the results, physics/chemistry was the toughest subject with a failure rate of 11.2% experienced at the higher level with only 330 students who took the exam. Classical studies was the 2nd most failed subject with a failure rate of 10.6% and again a small number of only 542 sitting for the exam.
In the Leaving Cert results, music was the easiest to achieve a pass or honors grade. Out of the total 5,713 students who sat the exam, 4.9% got a pass, 94.8% got honors marks with those who had an A being 14.1%. The failure rate in music was just 0.3%. Geography was also one of the most popular subjects with 19,762 students sitting for the exam. 75.3% achieved honors marks with those having an A being 8.7%. 21% of the students got a pass with the failure rate at 2.8%. The students were also performed well in languages.