In 2018, 7% of female students who sat the Junior Certificate opted to do Technical Graphics, compared with 34% of male students. This percentage has been consistent for the past number of years.
We investigated this discrepancy further and checked schools’ websites to see whether Technical Graphics was available as a Junior Certificate subject within that school. This information was available for 77% of post-primary schools. We found that 87% of mixed schools offer Technical Graphics as a Junior Certificate option, 82% of all-boy schools and only 14% of all-girl schools.
If a student is in search of A’s or H1’s, Technical Graphics and the Leaving Certificate equivalent, Design & Communication Graphics, are good subject choices.
In 2018, 17 Junior Certificate subjects were taken by more than 1,000 students (we have excluded English here because of the different grading system). Of these subjects, Technical Graphics had the fifth highest percentage getting A’s at Higher Level (15%) and the highest percentage receiving A’s at Ordinary Level (12%), see graphs below.
At Leaving Certificaite, the low female participation rate in this subject is similar. 17% of male students who sat the Leaving Certificate in 2018 did Design & Communications Graphics versus 3% of female students.
There were 24 Leaving Cert subjects taken by more than 1,000 students sitting them. Of these subjects, Design & Communication Graphics has the 8th highest rate of H1’s at Higher Level (6%), but only the 15th highest rate of O1’s at Ordinary Level (1%).
We hope that in time more girls only schools offer these as subject options and, as a result, that the difference between male and female participation rates will reduce.