The Government has been described as totally out of touch following its decision to barge ahead with the traditional Leaving Certificate exams by independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
Despite numerous calls from students and local representatives alike in recent weeks, the Minister for Education Norma Foley has ignored pleas to give students the option of a hybrid exam system.
Speaking following today’s announcement, Fitzmaurice said: “I met and spoke with numerous students, parents and teachers on this matter who were all in favour of a hybrid exam system. I even visited students in St Cuan’s College in Castleblakeney, Co. Galway, in recent weeks to discuss their views on how the Leaving Certificate exams should be dealt with this year.
“All of the students present put their points across passionately, noting that all they wanted was the choice – the same one that was afforded to their school friends who were in the exam year in 2021.
“They held the demonstration in order to drum up support and appeal to their public representatives to voice their concerns within the Dail chamber.
“The recent results of a national survey of current Leaving Certificate students showed that almost 70% wished to avail of the Hybrid exam system this year.
“I, along with many other TDs from around the country, raised this with Minister Foley in the Dail and called on her to make the necessary decisions to put the hybrid exam system in place.”
Continuing, the Roscommon-Galway TD said: “Despite all of these efforts, this Government and minister have chosen to ignore the wishes of the majority of students. The impact this is having on these students’ mental health is unbelievable.
“It is extraordinary that Minister Foley and her Government colleagues can sit and defend the stance taken on this year’s leaving cert.
“I can’t place much faith in the argument that almost one in four of this year’s leaving cert students had not sat their junior cert exams as a result of the disruptions caused by Covid. Surely there would be enough evidence to calculate a grade from all of the class exams and tests carried out in the last two years, as well as the mock exams?
“These students have had their entire leaving cert cycle interrupted by Covid, and yet they are not being offered the same system that was available to students last year. It is totally unacceptable,” Fitzmaurice concluded.
For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565