18 Jan 2022

Limerick student writes to Norma Foley asking for clarity on Leaving Cert exams

Leaving Cert: Other options if you don't get the points you need

A LIMERICK student has written an open letter to Minister for Education Norma Foley as uncertainty over plans for the Leaving Cert continues. 

Teachers and students across the country are asking for the 2022 exams to follow the same outline as last year's tests which gave pupils the choice of exams and accredited grades or both.  

Students who skipped Transition Year and will be sitting the Leaving Cert this summer did not take traditional Junior Cert exams so there is no data on their previous exam performance. 

This along with loss of classroom time as well as Covid-19 related staff shortages means that students are growing increasingly worried about the exams.  

One Limerick student has added his voice to the debate on behalf of his fellow students in an open letter to Minister Foley. 

The 6th year student is calling for clarity and equitable treatment for his year group, in line with that received by students last year. 

Talking about student's experiences in 5th year he said that they spent most of the year with a looming fear of another lockdown. 

He said: "With the ever-present threat of remote teaching, our return to school was overshadowed by our concerns for the future.

"In what ended as the longest single school’s lockdown, we remained out of classrooms and behind computers for 39 days of the academic year. 

"With this, we are left to wonder why we have been cast aside as we watch the record cases climb and climb, week upon week.

"But our concerns extend far beyond the battle between online and in-person education, extending themselves to the absenteeism of staff and students alike through periods of isolation and infection."

The pupil went on to say that time out of the classroom is at all an time high and that the toll it has taken on students cannot be seen in any statistic sheets or surveys. 

He continued: "While we continue to be tossed and turned about in our uncertainty, the government cannot seem to comprehend our cries for clarity or concern.

"Given the escalating Covid-19 crisis the concessions that have been offered no longer equate to the true extent of the impact inflicted on our education during this pandemic, with the choice of accredited grades the only clear option left to be offered.

"So, for what we truly hope to be the final time, we call on you and your department to finally offer some answers to our questions and to think of the treatment that we undoubtedly deserve.

"At the end of the day, it is not under these masks that we have been silently suffering, but under this unshakeable sense of uncertainty."

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