Leaving Cert now in uncharted waters

10 April 2020

Commenting on the decision to postpone the Leaving Cert exams until later in the summer, Labour spokesperson on Education, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D, said:

“I accept that the Department of Education are in an impossible position with regard to the State exams.

“This is already an extremely stressful time for students who have been preparing for this exam for the past two years, and so on balance, postponing the Leaving Cert at this time is probably the right course of action.

“It is absolutely vital that students have as much certainty as possible in this difficult and unprecedented situation, and so should be told at the earliest possible opportunity when exactly the exams are likely to be held.

“The Labour Party has also called for further clarity on the likely impact of this decision on the CAO process.

“We are now in uncharted waters when it comes to the Leaving Cert, and all aspects of the exam should be reviewed to ensure fairness for all students.

“It is also the case that some students will be more disadvantaged than others by remote learning, which should also be taken into account, and both the Leaving and Junior Cert exam fees need to be waived.

 “Overall, this crisis has highlighted the unsustainability of the State exams in their current form, and the limitations of exams which place so much emphasis on a few weeks at the end of a student’s school life.

“It is clear that once the dust settles, we need to see an overhaul of how the exams are run that would see more of a focus on continuous assessment.”

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