A Cork TD has called for a decision to be made on the Leaving Certificate this week.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry urged the Taoiseach to ensure clarity is provided to Leaving Cert students on plans for the examinations before next week, in order to avoid “six more nights of anguish” for students.
Deputy Barry's exchange with the Taoiseach on Wednesday in the Dáil comes following confirmation from the Department of Education last week that bilateral discussions with education stakeholders would commence to work on two distinctive processes for Leaving Certificate immediately.
The Minister said that the aim is to provide clear plans and information to students as quickly as possible on how the examinations will be held and details of the corresponding measure to be offered to students.
Speaking in the Dáil, the Cork North-Central TD referenced a mother who had written to him, expressing her concern for her son’s mental health.
He said that hopes of providing outlines for the plans for the Leaving cert next week would mean “six more nights of watch and anguish for this mother, six more nights of anguish for 61,000 Leaving Cert students”.
Speaking to The Echo, Mr Barry described the Leaving Cert as an “urgent issue” and said that it needs to be dealt with in accordance with “the urgency it deserves”.
“There should be an announcement this week. There are thousands of Leaving Cert students going through mental anguish as a result of the government’s endless delay and we need clarity this week and we need a fair deal for students.”
“We can’t have a bad proposal being imposed on them, it must be fair,” he added.
Mr Barry has been calling for the cancellation of the exam and “open access to third-level education”.
“If there was open access, if there was an offer of a place in third level for every leaving cert 2021 student, it would take the pressure off and it would mean that students wouldn’t be forced to compete against each other for a limited number of places in third level.
“It can provide the key to resolving these issues.”