Mixed messages from Gov on Leaving Cert adding to students’ concerns

02 April 2020

Labour Party Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, said mixed messages from Government are not serving exam students well.

This comes as the Taoiseach said at a media briefing that the Leaving Certificate would be going ahead as planned “by hook or by crook.”

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“The statement this evening by the Taoiseach is sending mixed signals to Leaving Certificate students and their families.

“Just yesterday, in a briefing I received by the Minister for Education and Skills, who said the decision on if the Leaving Certificate will be going ahead will be taken under HSE advice.

“If the Government decide to contradict HSE advice and go ahead with the Leaving Certificate as planned in June, teaching unions will not be able to stand by this.

“Much better clarity is needed from the Government to put students, teachers and parents at ease. A final decision date would help in that regard, leaving open the possibility of sitting the exams in the Autumn.”

“Leaving Certificate students have been out of school since the 13th of March. While teachers and students are doing the best that they can, it is difficult for students to get absolutely everything covered.

“Teachers also approach curriculums differently and at a different pace, so many subjects might not have had every section of subjects covered. If the Leaving Certificate is to go ahead as planned, how will the State Exams Commission square that circle?

“Many questions about the Leaving Certificate remain to be answered, and the Taoiseach shooting from the hip at a press conference without any real concern for the underlying concerns does nothing to quell the anxieties of all stakeholders in this.”

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