I am just finished doing a science PLC (Post Leaving Certificate) course and I found the science aspects of the year interesting enough, the trouble is only half of my classes are science based the other half are classes designed simply to stretch out the year.
Communications is a brilliant example of this. The assignments are long and pointless and the classes ruin any enthusiasm people have for learning. This class is mandatory and you have to get a distinction in it to get a proper diploma at the end of the year. This applies to almost all PLC courses around the country.
To be honest, the curriculum for communications is demeaning to me and the rest of the students. You have to write up a load of formal and non-formal letters which is basically a return to what we learned in primary school. We also had to learn how to send faxes – I don’t know anybody who still uses fax machines on a regular basis! To add insult to injury, next we had to make a non-verbal Christmas card. So here I am, instead of filling up beakers or struggling to grasp the complexity of genetics, they have me drawing pictures of Santa!
We need a well-funded education system where courses and curriculum are evaluated regularly and democratically decided by teachers and students. In reality, most of my class mates won’t get a place in college this year either because their families can’t afford it, or with the lack of jobs, everyone will try to get into college this year which will hike up the points. Why should we have to compete for places in college? Young people who want to go on to third level should have a guaranteed place on a quality course.
These type of PLC courses are blatantly about blurring the unemployment figures and offer no real way out of the dole queues for the majority of young people. We need quality education and training and young people must fight for this, as well as the basic right to a quality job on course completion, that allows us to utilise our talents and skills.