Leaving and Junior Cert oral and practical exams cancelled, students to be awarded full marks
The examinations were due to start next week.
The Department of Education has confirmed that practical and oral exams for Junior and Leaving Cert students will be cancelled and that students will be awarded full marks for the relevant portions of the subjects affected.
At a press conference on Thursday morning, Minister for Education Joe McHugh confirmed the cancellation of the tests, originally scheduled to take place from 23 March – 3 April.
The decision was taken in light of the closure of schools due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland and will be implemented by the State Examinations Commission.
All students who were due to take practical or oral examinations in the following subjects during that period will now be awarded full marks for that portion of the subject.
- Oral tests in Leaving Certificate Irish and the Modern Languages of French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese
- Practical performance tests in Leaving Certificate Music
- Practical performance tests in Junior Cert Music and Home Economics
Minister McHugh also confirmed changes to deadlines for students to complete project work and coursework in a number of subjects. Originally scheduled for completion between Friday 20 March and Friday 24 April, the deadline has now been extended until 15 May.
Commenting on the decision, Minister McHugh said:
“This is a difficult time for all. Students are facing a challenging period out of school and our decision on this element of the exams is being taken with their best interests at heart.
“It is the fairest response we could take in the circumstances. It guarantees that no student would score less than they would have if schools had been operating as normal.
“We have seen a new emphasis on remote learning amid the uncertainty about the impact of Covid-19 and the closure of all schools. I hope that this decision will ease some of the pressure that students are feeling and allow them to focus more clearly on completing project work and preparing for written exams.”
“We know we are asking a lot of people in order to stem the spread of Covid-19. In response to that I want students and their parents or guardians and teachers to be given flexibility as they work towards the exams,” McHugh added.
“All of Government is hugely grateful for the effort, commitment and energy that students and teachers are putting in to continue education in difficult circumstances. I urge you all to keep up the momentum and focus on preparing for the exams.”
McHugh also said the Department will continue to work with the State Examinations Commission to monitor the Covid-19 situation in terms of its potential impact on the other later scheduled components of the state examinations, including written exams.
“We will continue to respond at the right time and in the right way, with the impact on our students at the forefront of our minds,” he said.