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'Losers' can still make the grade.

Vincent Van Gogh would almost certainly have failed today's Leaving Certificate art exam, according to the General Secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation Senator Joe O'Toole.

Mr O'Toole might also have added that the painter would not have made it within an ass's roar of an art college either, given the current entry requirements.

In today's rat-race educational climate, he would more likely have ended up dressed in a peak cap and saying 'next please' at his local hamburger joint. That in a nutshell is what is wrong with the Irish educational system.

With one fell swoop it creates winners and losers for life.

A system of entry to college which requires an impossible number of points makes a nonsense of the recent abolition of third level fees.

While there have to be some selection procedures in operation, surely there has to be a better and a fairer system than the current points race.

Written exams favour those students who are not necessarily the brightest but merely the ones with the best memories.

They don't measure if you have common sense, a good personality, a kind heart or a sense of humour - all important qualities for a job.

It seems ironic that some of the brightest brains in the country would not even make it to college today. Most went when the entry requirements were just two honours. This has now risen to at least seven A grades for the top courses.

Now's the time to change the system. You simply should not need to have seven honours to study computers. If you are good at computers then that should be enough. Why should you need an honour in Irish, French and Biology as well?

Gay Byrne never went to college and it did him no harm. There are lots of other people who have never seen the inside of a college who are rich, famous and very successful too.

Those students and their parents who did not get the results they wanted this week should perhaps remember that the best degree of all is one from that institution where there are no entry requirements at all - the University of Life.

Riches to rags story

GIVEN that U2 is one of the richest and most successful bands in the world, wouldn't you think that somebody somewhere would advise the guys how to dress?

They looked like four scruffs arriving in Belfast this week. If John Rocha can make Van Morrison look smart, then surely anything must be possible.

We await Lansdowne Road with bated breath.

Queues are a sick joke

PATIENTS needing heart surgery in Ireland are being forced to wait up to six years for treatment.

Current waiting lists at the National Cardiac Surgery Centre in the Mater Hospital stand at a disgraceful 1,600.

How many will be around when their name eventually comes up on the list? This Government has a very black sense of humour.


SEX offender priest Father Brendan Smyth, pictured, was buried in the dead of night at Kilnacrott Abbey, among his own.

His death, like his life, was shrouded in shame.

Long ago in Ireland, pregnant girls were forced to marry in the equivalent of the dead of night, at 6am. The shame factor was too much for the Church then too.

While Brendan Smyth was an evil man who destroyed the lives of scores of innocent children, he was still a human being and somebody's son. It dignifies us and not him to give him a decent burial.

There is no point in dancing on his grave. We would all be far better employed using our energies to root out other perverts than crying over spilt milk.

Scandal isn't sexy enough

I DON'T know about you but I am thoroughly fed-up with tribunals.

We do not need nor want another one to look at either Michael Lowry or Charlie Haughey's finances. It is all just too boring for words.

I personally find sex scandals infinitely more interesting than financial ones!

Payback time for Heffernan

I SEE Dunnes Stores are looking for their pounds 1.3 million back from Charlie Haughey.

Given Dunnes' policy of never giving a refund without a receipt, does this mean Margaret Heffernan may have to take a credit note or goods to the value? Well, a boat or maybe an island is not to be sniffed at!

PC missing at beauty contest

HAS no-one told the Miss Ireland organisers that the politically correct term today is 'Ms'.

And I don't think that they should be allowed to exclude married girls. The idea that once you are married you are no longer beautiful is old hat. Someone should start a 'Mrs Ireland' contest.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:O'Kelly-browne, Ita
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 28, 1997
Previous Article:Losing the plot over film cash.

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