CAO: A Point of Reflection

Just lying in my bed of money over here in Scottsdale. Turned over to my laptop, Lady Sticky Fingers as I like to call her, and I clicked onto RTE’s website.  So on the site I found that the CAO points were just released. Usually this passes without me giving a shit, I don’t ever want to go do another undergrad as college was a disappointment for me. As I said in my leaving E-Mail from my last job, I learned more in my first year of work than I did in 4 years at the GMIT. BUT I became nostalgic and remembered back to the morning they came out when I was a young lad. So I clicked on to see how many points the course I did in first year was worth, it wasn’t listed. I didn’t remember right away, but in my second year of the course the geniuses that ran the place decided to disband it due to a downturn in the sector (3 years later there was an estimated 14,000 vacant jobs in IT) . So instead I went and looked at IT in NUIG..my old friend. You see, I applied for this course in NUIG and thanks to misinformation from a guidance counsellor in secondary school and subsequently a clerical error by the people in the CAO, I was rejected for the course initially. It wasn’t until weeks later that I received an offer after I had already accepted a different course and settled on my decision.

The not so short of it, is this. I was born in America. I did Irish in school, I actually enjoyed Irish more than a lot of my other subjects. My teacher knew I was born in America and bullied me out of her class. (Miss O’M for anybody who went there 🙂 ) I told her I wanted to stay, she told me she was going to suggest to the principal that I not sit Irish and that she would not teach me so I would have to go to another class…now I wasn’t a trouble maker, I was quiet as a mouse, this teacher openly bullied another student too that wasn’t a trouble maker but that’s for another day maybe. I was sent to the principal, he explained to me that whilst he could see why it may be good for me to not have my Irish counted towards my marks as a pass subject, it was a very proud historical school so he told me I needed to still attend an Irish class, since my pass level teacher would not allow me back into class, I was sent to Applied knowing it didn’t matter because I was marked as exempt completely on the back of my pass Irish teachers doing. Not mine! My guidance counsellor and the teachers neglected to inform me that you needed at least pass level Irish to attend a University..thanks for that fuckers (PCH was a fuckin nightmare of a school. I was lined up outside my English class with a few of my classmates while the teacher told us why we didn’t deserve to get into her class and that we were below it. A teacher threw a student down some stairs. I picked Technology as an option, as obviously I have an interest in it, it got removed as a subject from the school, my 3B or alternative just in case something like that happened was Metal Work, imagine my suprise when I was told I would have to do Home Economics!! I went to a tutor to get help during Leaving Cert for a few subjects, they told me there’s meant to be a common theme between the play, poems, essays etc. that we studied and I should ask my teacher about it. So I asked her, she was eating a yoghurt in class at the time, asked me why I was asking her this, I told her I was going to a tutor and he told me to ask. She stared me down and said well why don’t you ask him what it is, since you’re paying the guy..NO BULLSHIT, If every school and college in the country was shut down tomorrow there I wouldn’t be sad! It’s all toxic and needs a fresh start. I fear this is to long for an aside and not the point of my blog so back to it!!)

I then tried to sort it out with the CAO. Explaining that I didn’t want to do Applied Irish and it wasn’t meant to be counted. I was just doing it to appease my principal. I was marked as exempt. So anyway, I went and did a course in PC Programming instead and then eventually received an offer for the course in NUIG but it was too late. I later found out, ironically from one of my lecturers, who’s son was in the course, that they only had about 11 students out of 25 places at the time and changed it’s status to AQA (All Qualified Apply) Now when I applied it was only called Information Technology so the name and content has changed a bit. (The course was utter shite when I applied anyway and for a long time after that. It seemed pretty shit 2 years ago when I looked at some of the course material. Completely behind the times) But here’s the points for the course now, the course that nobody wanted to do in 2003:

Now to me that’s too high, especially considering I highly doubt the course content will produce highly skilled workers that the country desperately needs. I feel at least from my experience in Irish third level that the lecturers and course material do not keep up with the Industry and end up producing under-qualified graduates. People would be better off if they just learned some Microsoft, Citrix, Cisco and VMWare cert courses. I also laugh out of fear at the fact that some courses in non-Science and non-Engineering disciplines are in the 500+ range. The country has not learned anything. We don’t need to produce Creative Writers, Psychologists or Historians right now! We need to encourage people who can innovate, create and are strong logical thinkers. Ireland needs the next Facebook..possibly a bad reference since it’s hitting the shitter right now but you get my point. NUIG is the biggest single employer in Galway City, which is great because it does generate some money for the local economy BUT we should not be aiming to make it the long term crutch that we lean on. We need solid revenue. We don’t need to throw our money into a leaky bucket, where corrupt academics shave a few euros off the top for themselves. Where a certain postgrads I know get paid for sitting at home smoking pot for 3 months and get paid to go to conferences they don’t attend. If public money and money from fees are used in a large part to fund lecturers wages and the running of the colleges, then what is the ROI? Are these places turning a profit in the long term? How many people are we educating with subsidies, only so they can move abroad and never contribute back into the Irish economy? It’s time for intelligent people to get involved here. I’m not a fool, I know how important the colleges are to Galway but at the same time, how is Galway doing right now? Who’s paying for the students fees, grants and the lecturers wages right now?

Universities are run like businesses, poorly run corrupt businesses but businesses none the less. There’s little if any personal touch now. Also if you want an eye opener, try to make a complaint to a third level institute, watch the rats scurry. Everything is about having to attract students. We need millions to build state of the art facilities, we need the best overpaid lecturers, we need to get special guest lecturers etc. so we can attract the best students. Maybe it’s time to face the facts, Ireland is a small country. By all means lets have 2 or 3 good Universities with an international focus but what we need now is a focus on producing students who can fill the jobs that are available there and produce students who have the potential to create jobs in Ireland and help get the country out of the cluster fuck a bunch of back handing cock suckers got us into. A lot of the money spent on free fees for family members, conferences in Vegas and a new sofa in the presidents waiting room could be used to fund the person who has the multi-billion idea that could save our dirty little rock. What say Yee!?
Go Rory Go

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About thecityfathers

We sit around all day stroking our beards, clucking our tongues and discussing what's to be done with this Homer Simpson
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