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Possible return to campus for college students

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

The announcement by the Department of Education this week, that the Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday, September 3, was followed by confirmation from the Central Applications Office that CAO Round 1 offers will be issued online, four days later on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm.

This is about three weeks later than normal, although it is earlier than the 2020 dates. Coinciding with the release of these dates comes the news from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, that it is the priority of Government to get college students back on campus for the 2021/2022 academic year. Because of the later issue of Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, this means that First Year students will start college a couple of weeks later than those who are returning to college in Second, Third and Fourth Year.

From the point of social distancing, the staggered start may be an advantage, as we will still be living with certain restrictions due to COVID-19. There are a number of contributing factors what will influence a safe and successful return to the college campus for students according to Minister Harris. They include the roll-out and take-up of vaccinations in the college-age cohort by September, the use of rapid testing on campus which has been run as a pilot in several universities this year, and a varied approach to face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that smaller classes, practicals and tutorials can be operated as before with social distancing while the larger lectures may need to be facilitated using a blended approach. It is also felt that if cafés, restaurants and bars are open everywhere else, there is no reason why they can’t open on campus. This of course is all based on vaccinations and public health guidelines.

ACCOMMODATION

A big concern for First Year students following the announcements is the fact that they will be looking for accommodation later than all other students. This is an issue every single year because when CAO offers are issued, many students get offers for colleges in locations where they have not secured accommodation. Naturally it is of particular concern to rural students and mirrors a greater societal shortage of accommodation. Minister Harris has also stated that he is bringing a proposal to Cabinet in the coming weeks to implement legislation which means that the owners of purpose-built student accommodation will only be allowed to charge rents a month in advance rather than insisting on payment of rent for half of the college year, something which has put enormous strain on students and their families over the years.
So, while any kind of certainty surrounding a return to ‘normal’ college life isn’t possible, it is both hopeful and exciting for new and returning college students to be able to look forward to the next college year with the prospect of getting to enjoy a real college experience and all that has to offer.

WEBINAR

I will be hosting a free webinar for Leaving Cert parents on June 16 at 7pm on ‘How to help your son/daughter with CAO Change of Mind and other career options’ ahead of the CAO deadline on July 1. 

To register see links on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @mycareerplan or email me on info@mycareerplan.ie. 

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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New Fexco partnership to create 75 jobs

Kerry based financial technology and business services company Fexco and digital services company, TEKenable have announced a strategic partnership to help create 75 new jobs by 2025. The Fexco Managed Services […]

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Kerry based financial technology and business services company Fexco and digital services company, TEKenable have announced a strategic partnership to help create 75 new jobs by 2025.

The Fexco Managed Services and TEKenable partnership will see both organisations co-invest in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Products and Salesforce Cloud Solutions and Services aimed at improving their collective customers end-to-end experience across both Irish and UK markets.

This partnership combines TEKenable’s experience in providing Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultancy, development, and support services to their customers, with Fexco’s experience of premium operational delivery, customer management and process optimisation experts. This partnership will also see the creation of 75 new jobs by 2025, with roles created within Digital Customer Experience, Predictive Customer Behaviour Analysis, and Automation & Operational Efficiency services.

“This partnership will help us build on our collective strengths, and deliver the perfect blend of premium operational expertise, support, and resources to maximise the potential of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in improving our customers’ digital end to end experience,” Martin Ryan, Managing Director of Fexco Managed Services and Advisory Services, said.

“This will see us and TEKenable collaborate across multiple sectors and reinforce our position as trusted advisors who deliver transformative services for our clients.”

TEKenable was founded in 2002 by Nick Connors and Peter Rose is an innovative technology company focused on delivering digital services through Low Code platforms to medium and large-scale enterprises in Ireland, UK and EMEA.

Nick Connors, Managing Director with TEKenable added that “this partnership will see us work with Fexco Managed Services to bring solutions, products and services offerings that will fundamentally change the end-to-end experience of both our customers, and their customers”.

“We predict that we will see growth from a combination of existing and new clients over the coming three years.”

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Headford man’s 1948 Jaguar the star of car run

A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday. The O’Riada’s Bar […]

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A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday.

The O’Riada’s Bar and Restaurant-based event raised money for the nearby Glanageenty Walkways and followed a new for 2022 route via Ballymac, Raemore, Knocknagoshel, Brosna, and Mount Eagle before the finish line in the Mart Yard in Castleisland.

Gerard Healy from Knockysheehan, Headford, Killarney had the oldest cars on the run.

He has owned his 1948 Jaguar Mark 4 saloon for the last seven years.

“This car was manufactured in Coventry after World War Two,” he said. “And it was then shipped to Ireland in kit form to avoid high import duty on complete cars. It was reassembled in Dublin and painted emerald green. This is a Sligo car, the first owner was a Miss Teresa Ferry, it was very unusual for a lady to own a car in those days.”

The car was then sold to a vicar and then a soldier before, somehow, ending up in The Netherlands. There it underwent a full restoration in 1999.

Gerard bought the car from a restorer called Roberto Verboon.

“I was proud to bring the car back to Ireland,” he added.

Thanks to generous support from local businesses and sponsors including O’Riada’s and BG Motors over €500 worth of spot prizes were handed out on the day.

Listry’s Tony and Kay Darmody were prize winners after judges were impressed with their Hillman Minx Convertible.

George Carey from Tralee won the motorcycle award with his finely turned out 1986 Honda 90.

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