A Fine Gael Senator has called for the 'hybrid' Leaving Certificate model, where students are given a choice of accredited grades or to sit exams, to be used again this year due to Covid disruption.
Regina Doherty said that sixth year students, who are due to sit the Leaving Cert this summer, are owed the same compassionate options as students in previous years whose educational experiences have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Ms Doherty said her office had received numerous emails from sixth year students who said their school lives and mental health "have been severely and negatively impacted by the unpredictability of the current climate".
“I appreciate that some allowances have been made for this year’s Leaving Cert students, and I’m sure they do too, but that is nowhere near enough. The decision to grant last year’s students a ‘hybrid’ option, which gave them the option of sitting exams or receiving accredited grades, came as a relief to so many. That is why I am asking the Minister for Education to give strong consideration to running Leaving Cert 2022 on the same hybrid basis as last year."
'Doom and gloom'
"They say our school days are the best days of our lives, but for the classes of 2022, 2021 and 2020, the ‘doom and gloom’ seems to overshadow everything," she added.
Ms Doherty said the hybrid model was the "compassionate model", adding that the Leaving Cert should also be updated for the future.
“Our immediate focus, however, must be on the wellbeing of this year’s Leaving Cert students. They are living through an unprecedented crisis and facing the consequences every single day, during what is already an extremely stressful time. The Minister can and must act soon, and quickly, to re-implement last year’s model. It’s the least our students deserve," Ms Doherty concluded.