Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has called on Minister Foley to put in place a backup paper for those Leaving Cert students who are set to miss out on their written exam due to self-isolation.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“It is extremely frustrating that nothing has been done for the students in Limerick who, due to a Covid outbreak, will now miss out on their written exams.
“This was an entirely foreseeable scenario. I raised this first with the Minister through parliamentary questions back in February. I do not understand why a contingency plan was not put in place for this very scenario.
“It is the students in Limerick, and indeed other students self-isolating across the State, who will now suffer as a result of the Minister’s failure to put in place a plan B.
“It is very unfair if a student has worked extremely hard, done their orals, aiming for high points, and then because they have to self-isolate – cannot take this exam, despite going to all the considerable effort. They deserve a second chance.
“The Minister has tried to suggest that the accredited grades is an adequate substitute. But these students very likely already opted for the accredited grade, and wanted to do the exam because they wanted to give themselves the best possible opportunity of getting their course.
“They specifically chose the exams, and they put hours upon hours of work into them, right up to the last minute.
“They would also have done the orals and practicals and projects, and none of that will count for anything now.
“It would be one thing if a solution to this was difficult or complicated, but it is straight forward, and a backup paper is a standard practice available in any year for students who are ill, and more recently students who are bereaved.”