Just over 100 Leaving Certificate students, representing a host of different nations, received their long awaited results at Rockwell College, on Wednesday last.
These students come from such faraway places as Russia, China, Japan and Bahrain. For a significant number, English is not their first language.
The 2011 Leaving Certificate results have proved to be an outstanding success. 25% of students achieved in excess of 500 points. 70% achieved in excess of 400 points. During the coming days and weeks, the Irish students will receive third level course offers in the various N.U.I. Colleges and Institutes of Learning.
The International Brigade will secure College places in their country of origin or in their chosen place of study. It would be a mistake to dwell on the challenges facing the global markets and International Economies. These students are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to further their studies, to strengthen their character, to broaden their minds and to discover a world beyond the homeplace. There is an onus on them, both or their own sake and that of their families to accept this challenge in a purposeful manner.
The recent civil unrest in London and in other U.K cities has prompted criticism and analysis. Most commentators are agreed that unemployment engenders alienation and frustration. While neither of these is justification for needless violence and crime, we all hope as parents and educators, that the class of 2011 will take a different direction. There has been a loss of confidence in the institutions of church, of state and of the corporate sector. Our present school leavers may not have studied the detail of the various reports which explain such matters but they are conscious of the general malaise and disillusion which has befallen all of us. Hopefully, they will in time, be instrumental in helping to create a brave new world.
We wish the class of 2011 well in all their efforts.