Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has again urged the Minister for Education to engage with students and take seriously their calls for an alternative Leaving Cert arrangement this year.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire’s plea comes as a poll carried out by the Irish Second Level Students’ Union (ISSU) found that an overwhelming majority, 68%, of the 40,900 responses received from Leaving Cert students want a hybrid exam model this year.
The Cork South Central TD said:
“The message from Leaving Cert students could not be any clearer; they need a choice, between written exams and calculated grading, in recognition of the significant disruption they have experienced in their learning over the last two years due to Covid-19.
“The Minister for Education cannot leave them waiting in limbo any longer. Now is the time to reassure students and provide some clarity.
“The findings of this poll by the ISSU, the largest representative body for second-level students on the island, show that over two thirds of Leaving Cert students want a hybrid exam model this year.
“These voices must be listened to. The Minister for Education’s proposal of traditional exams simply cannot go ahead.
“The Minister and her Department continue to act as though this has been a normal academic year for Leaving Cert students, when we know that it has been anything but.
“A significant proportion of students have lost teaching time due to personal self-isolation or self-isolation of their teachers, coupled with school closures in their fifth year.
“There are many students who – completely outside of their control – simply have not had the opportunity to cover the curriculum in its entirety.
“I am once again today urging the Minister to take seriously the voice of students and to engage with the students, listen to them, and to ensure that the Leaving Cert class of 2022 have choice and are treated with fairness.”