May 2, 2020
Criteria for Leaving Cert to go ahead needs to be clarified – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has called on the Minister for Education to outline the criteria by which the government and NPHET will decide whether or not it is safe to run Leaving Cert exams.

He has said that continued uncertainty is causing massive concern to students and their parents.

He said:

“For the past two months, the demand of students and their parents has been for clarity and certainty in respect of Leaving Cert exams. The anxiety and stress they have faced is unbearable.

“In the aftermath of the Taoiseach’s announcement last night that schools will close until September/October, we are not much wiser.

“In fact, the announcement that schools will close until then has caused immediate uncertainty, given that the Minister’s plan to hold State exams involved exam classes going back to school for at least two weeks. 

“Sinn Féin have called for contingency plans for State exams to be outlined for over a month, but we are yet to see the details of this planning.

“What Leaving Cert students need to know is in what circumstances will it be considered safe to run the Leaving Cert, and in what circumstances will it be considered unsafe, and how likely are these scenarios?

“Further confusion and uncertainty are not an option. There has been too much of this already and I am surprised and disappointed that the Taoiseach did not address this issue in his speech.

“It is clear that the Leaving Cert should only proceed if it is safe to do so and if the health and welfare of students can be safeguarded. Right now, it is difficult to be confident that that is going to be the case.

“In light of the Taoiseach’s announcement this evening, I am calling on the Minister for Education to spell out the consequences for the Leaving Cert by setting out the public health criteria for its cancellation.”

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