CONFUSION and uncertainty surrounding the Leaving Cert exams must be cleared up, and “we cannot keep students in the dark any longer”.
That’s according to Sinn Féin’s Education spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, who said the Government must make up their minds on whether the exams will go ahead or not.
However, he said clear alternatives must be spelled out to students, especially on the inevitable questions on college admissions posed by any possible cancellation.
The Cork South Central TD said: “The level of stress and anxiety facing students at this time is immense, and the lack of clarity in respect of whether Leaving Cert exams will proceed or not is adding to this pressure.
“The government has made a lot of the current roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions, but have refused to spell out the criteria to determine whether Leaving Cert exams will be held or not,” he added.
The Government, in the roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions, said that schools would be among the last facilities to reopen, despite proposals for Leaving Cert exams to take place from late July.
The Government also previously suggested that students would have two weeks of classroom time in the lead-up to their exams.
“It is clear that the Leaving Cert cannot proceed unless it is safe for students. Similarly, proceeding to plan for exams in July and August is pointless if this is based only on a slim possibility of exams being held.
“If it is more likely than not that exams cannot be held, then we need a Plan B and to plan definitively for that contingency,” Deputy Ó Laoghaire said.
He said a definite plan on how college admissions would be handled is necessary if the Government are going to cancel the exams. Anything less would cause “confusion, uncertainty and add to the stress that students are experiencing,” he said.
“It is fast approaching ‘make up your mind’ time for the Minister for Education, and it is my strong view that we need a decision in place in the coming days, along with a detailed plan for how all of this will be managed,” Deputy Ó Laoghaire concluded.