Kelly calls for clarity on Leaving Cert exams

Photo © Tipp FM

A Tipperary TD says that Leaving Cert students need to be told now what form their State exams will take in the summer.

This is the view of Labour Leader Alan Kelly who is calling for a hybrid model to be again used for the exams, and for schools to be told now.

He told Tipp FM that one exam at the end of the year wouldn’t be fair on these students and that the ideal Leaving Cert would be spread out exams and with a variety of assessment types.

“We shouldn’t leave students and schools to dwell on this again, they need to know now what format it will take and I believe it should be a hybrid model based on what was done last year.

“The students who are doing their Leaving Cert this year haven’t just missed out on quite an amount of education, due to Covid in their final year, but they also missed out on a traunch of education during fifth year. Really they have had a double whammy and they’re the first students to be affected like this.”

He added; “The reality is that the pandemic will continue to have a huge influence over education outcomes particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A rerun of a 2021-style Leaving Cert is the only real fair way forward for everyone. The fact is Covid-related teacher and student absences are extremely high at the moment and educators are really struggling with the lost tuition time being experienced by Leaving Cert candidates.

“While last year was not perfect, it did give a level of certainty to students in the run-up to the exams. To revert right back to the 2019 system would be completely self-defeating and any potential for more fluidity in the system would be lost. We cannot allow that to happen.

“By bringing certainty for students now, the Minister will remove any confusion for the rest of the school year by accepting again that the hybrid system of written exams and calculated grades will be needed again in 2022. None of us want to be in this position, but it is only fair to give students clarity now, and ensure that for the remaining school year that there is a defined path and certainty in place for Leaving Cert students.

“Returning to the old rigid exam system that was last in place in 2019 will also be a step backward when the system is in urgent need of radical reform.”