April 9, 2020
Clarity – not kite flying – needed on State Exams; fees must be deferred – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that immediate clarity is needed on the situation regarding Leaving and Junior Certificate Exams.

He said:

“There is an urgent need for clarity and detail on the plan for State Exams.

“The situation at the minute is intolerable for students, parents and teachers, and the stress and anxiety that is involved is enormous.

“The Minister for Education and the Taoiseach insisted last week that nothing had changed and that exams will be proceeding, but we now see ‘a senior source’ floating ideas such as delaying the Leaving Cert and providing for predictive marking.

“I think that students deserve better than kite flying at this stage.

“They deserve answers.

“When you consider that the first set of State Exams would ordinarily begin in less than eight weeks time, it is difficult to see how such gatherings could be deemed safe in that timescale. 

“If exams are to be deferred, then the fees for the Leaving and Junior Cert should obviously be deferred alongside this. This is a cost of €116 per child, at a time when many families who do not qualify for a waiver are out of work and really struggling. This needs to happen, and a form of expanded waiver scheme needs to considered for exams when they are eventually held.”

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