Decision expected on plans for Leaving Cert

Cork TDs have called on the Government to provide clarity on the issue and to give students a choice in the exams. 
Decision expected on plans for Leaving Cert

The Minister for Education is being urged to make a decision on the Leaving Cert this week.

A DECISION on this year’s Leaving Cert is expected shortly, with reports last night suggesting that students will sit a traditional Leaving Cert under plans due to be approved by Cabinet.

Government leaders met last night to discuss the plans and Education Minister Norma Foley is expected to bring a final proposal to Cabinet for approval this morning, the Irish Examiner reports.

Earlier yesterday, politicians in Cork had called on the Government to provide immediate clarity for Leaving Cert students ahead of this year’s State examinations.

Socialist Party TD Mick Barry highlighted that a survey found that 68% of students polled by the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union recently had already rejected the idea of a traditional leaving cert.

The TD for Cork North-Central said the Government must not ignore the wishes of a big majority of students.

The Government “must not ignore the wishes of students and just drive on with a traditional Leaving Cert,” he said.

Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the lack of a decision by Education Minister Norma Foley had added to the stress of Leaving Cert students.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on education said: “Leaving Cert students are under unbelievable pressure and they still have no idea what their Leaving Cert will look like.

“Kite-flying through the media and the leaking of various plans is extremely unhelpful and only adds to their worries.”

Mr Ó Laoghaire said that he felt “the only way to ensure fairness for all students is to give them a choice in this year’s exams. These students need a choice between calculated grades and written exams.

“I am very concerned by the leaks in the media, suggesting that ‘traditional exams’ are the only option.

“This is a huge mistake. Each student has their own personal story to tell of their Leaving Cert experience up to now.

“The levels of disruption vary hugely from student to student. Additional choice in the papers does not level the playing field for all students.”

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