Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has responded to this evening’s news that the ASTI has withdrawn from talks aimed at coming up with a solution for this year’s Leaving Cert.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“Leaving Cert students have endured a dreadful year. They were already under enormous pressure awaiting clarity on how this year’s Leaving Cert would look.
“Since this evening’s news broke, I have been inundated with comments from students who are incredibly distressed. Students are absolutely reeling.
“They have no idea what to expect now from the Leaving Cert, or what they are meant to be preparing for.
“They want choice, and Sinn Féin supports choice, because they have lost so much time already and covering the course is effectively impossible for them.
“We agree that students who want the written exam should have it. But a choice between an alternative means of assessment and the Leaving Cert is only fair in the circumstances.
“I understand there are concerns. I believe it is important that the crucial relationship between staff and students is maintained, and that there is a need for safeguards, and for this to be deliverable.
“But solutions are found at the negotiation table, not away from it.
“I would urge everyone to keep on engaging and to keep talking. All these issues can be solved, and these concerns can be addressed.
“But our focus needs to be on a fair solution for the students. That can only happen through negotiation and dialogue.”