January 14, 2021
Minister must publish contingency plans for Leaving Cert – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has today called on the Minister to urgently publish the contingency plans in place for the Leaving Certificate, and to provide necessary clarity to 6th year students.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said: 

 “I wholly regret that again today the Minister has not published any contingency plans for this year’s Leaving Certificate. I have been calling on her to do so for months now. 

“It has been an extremely difficult 12 months for 6th years students, with enormous learning time lost in 5th year and now the chaos of the Government’s u-turns of the past week to contend with. It is a disgrace that this year group have been let down so badly by the Minister and her Department.  

“I urge the Minister to listen to the students and to take seriously their concerns. 

“The mock exams are coming up in the next few weeks. Deadlines for some projects are this week and next. Oral and practical exams are also set to take place in the very near future. Students need clarity on when and how these will go ahead. 

“If the Minister had spoken to the students, she would know that the changes that have been made to the Leaving Cert papers this year go nowhere near far enough. Much more radical change is required at a minimum, and perhaps much more than that. The Government needs to take seriously the level of learning loss that the current 6th years have experienced. 

“The Minister needs to be transparent and honest with students. She must accept at this stage that there is a question over the provision of a traditional Leaving Cert this year. It has not been a traditional 12 months for 6th year students.  

“Today, I again urge the Minister and her Department of Education to engage honestly and frankly with all of the options on the table, but most importantly, to listen to students, to engage with students. This isn’t an issue that can drift into the Spring, students are calling out for clarity now. 

“This is urgent – the Minister must communicate with students in a clear and considered way her contingency plans for this year’s Leaving Certificate. It is the least these students deserve.”

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