Cork TDs call for flexibility surrounding Leaving Cert

Sinn Féin spokesperson for education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said that sixth-year students must be given the choice between accredited grades and sitting exams this year.
Cork TDs call for flexibility surrounding Leaving Cert

Changes to the 2022 written papers are set to offer students greater choice in questions with some contingency for potential Covid-19 related disruption during the school year.

Calls have been made for more flexibility in this year's Leaving Cert as the Department of Education plans a return to its traditional state exam model.

Sinn Féin spokesperson for education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said that sixth-year students must be given the choice between accredited grades and sitting exams this year.

Changes to the 2022 written papers are set to offer students greater choice in questions with some contingency for potential Covid-19 related disruption during the school year.

The State Exams Commission (SEC) will also have a subsequent alternative set of Leaving Cert exams in place for students unable to sit exams due to Covid-19 and other illnesses as well as family bereavements.

However, Mr Ó Laoghaire feels the measures do not go far enough for students.

“The Leaving Cert class of 2022 has endured enormous disruption, with school closures in the last two years, many students having to self-isolate and with teachers self-isolating for lengthy periods," he said.

“This has meant that many students are finding it very difficult to get the curriculum covered.

“We believe that it is now necessary to begin planning for a Leaving Cert based on choice. Students should have the option to have an accredited grade or a model of that kind in a subject, or in several subjects. However, we also believe that many students want the option to sit an exam – and last year's Leaving Cert is proof of that.” 

He appealed to Minister for Education, Norma Foley to explore more options for students.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry also believes changes should be made to this year’s Leaving Certificate.

“I have been contacted by large numbers of students who feel it is unfair to ask them to sit a traditional Leaving Cert in these circumstances given that they already lost out on months of classroom time when they were in fifth year.

“There clearly now needs to be talks involving the students themselves about an alternative to a traditional Leaving Cert this year,” he added.

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