Young people discuss the education system and the emphasis placed on academic subjects in school.

Some young people from Dublin describe the pressures they feel are placed on them by the Leaving Certificate and the points race for college places.

Many of the young people want the education system changed. They believe it is designed solely towards obtaining the grades to go to university.

One young man says that college is not for everyone and the Leaving Certificate exam is geared to getting grades to obtain the points to go to college. He believes the school system should prepare young people for life and not just for third level education.

It's an awful system of education.

Martina believes that the system is too academic which does not suit everyone.

Another young woman says that part of the problem is the school leaving age. At 17, most people have no idea what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Another says that these decisions about a future career are actually made much younger on the completion of the Intermediate Certificate when students must choose their subjects for Leaving Certificate. By the time a student completes the Leaving Cert, they might want to do something completely different.

Tommy, who left school early, feels that it is very sad that a young person should have to make decisions about the rest of their life at such a young age.

You should be allowed to change your mind.

Another young man says that the failure of the system is partly down to young people themselves. He says that while they complain about the system, they do little to change it or improve it for future generations.

We don't actually help those who are coming up through the system.

This episode of 'Facts of Life' was broadcast on 20 May 1987. The presenter is Carolyn Fisher.

'Facts of Life' was an eleven part series in which young people talked frankly on issues that affect them in their daily lives.

Speaking to Patrick Quilligan in the RTÉ Guide (15 May 1987), researcher and presenter on the programme Carolyn Fisher says,

Our overriding concern was to get young people talking in a relaxed atmosphere with no authority figure present. They were a lot looser as a result and what they have to say should be of interest to four main groups (beside, of course their peer group) - teachers, politicians, clergy and parents.

RTÉ Guide, 15 May 1987, Carolyn Fisher presents Facts of Life
RTÉ Guide, 15 May 1987, Carolyn Fisher on the cover as the presenter of Facts of Life