Opting to do Transition Year (TY) often offers students numerous benefits, it has been claimed.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Dr Gerry Jeffers, lecturer in Education at NUI Maynooth, said TY has the "potential to give students good experiences that help them to grow up".
Eimear Sinnott of Careers Portal added that TY provides students with the opportunity to learn various skills which will be useful in their career.
"Good academic qualifications may be important for the workplace, but other qualities such as communication skills, problem solving and team work, which can be developed in Transition Year, are just as vital," she stated.
However, with the recession impacting on schools financially, many secondary level institutions are struggling to offer the year, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) said.
The ASTI's Transition Year coordinator Noel Buckley told the newspaper that more parents want their children to take the fourth year.
He noted: "They know that if they leave education early they will find it hard to get jobs. So, they are delaying the departure for as long as possible. This is putting pressure on school resources."
Earlier this year, Dr Jeffers told the newspaper that research suggests that students not only develop academically but also socially and personally during TY.
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