Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has called on the Minister for Education to provide additional choice on the Junior Cert exams this year to take into account the significant disruption that students have experienced.
The Cork South Central TD said:
“Junior Cert students feel completely forgotten by the Department of Education. The announcement yesterday barely made reference to them.
“In the Minister’s statement, she said that Junior Cycle exams will run ‘in June as normal’.
“There has been nothing normal about the last few years for third year students. Every single year of their secondary school education has been disrupted by Covid.
“Leaving Cert students have understandably been prioritised for substitutes and teaching, meaning that many Junior Cert classes are nowhere near finished their courses.
“They were some of the last to return to school buildings after the closures this time last year.
“Yesterday, the Minister announced that no further adjustments will be made to the Junior Cert papers above and beyond the minor changes made in August 2021.This does not take into account the increased levels of absence since schools have been navigating Omicron.
“For a number of young people who will leave school this summer after their Junior Cert, this will be the last exams they do. They deserve the greatest possible opportunity to achieve the best possible qualification.
“The Minister has acknowledged that disruption to learning required additional changes to be made to the Leaving Cert papers on top of the changes of August 2021. I don’t understand why she has not done the same for the Junior Cert cohort.
“I have urged the Minister to make additional changes to the Junior Cert exams, to reflect their disruption and loss of learning.”