State exams this year "cannot go ahead as planned", says students' union 5 months ago

State exams this year "cannot go ahead as planned", says students' union

The ISSU has called current plans a “complete disregard for students' best interests”.

The Irish Second-Level Students' Union (ISSU) has stated that Ireland's State Examinations in 2022 "cannot go ahead as planned".

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As part of current plans this year for the State exams, students are to be given more choice on their exam papers to account for Covid-related disruptions to their learning.

Meanwhile, an alternative set of Leaving Cert exams is due to run in 2022 for students who experience a close family bereavement, Covid-19 illness or other serious illness during the original exams.

However, in a statement on Tuesday (11 January), the ISSU called the current plans "a complete disregard for students' best interests".

It stated it is currently surveying second-level students on how they would like to see this year's exams take place and that the provisional results are showing a clear favour towards a hybrid model as was deployed last year.

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This saw students have the choice of sitting traditional written exams or getting an a predicted grade or both.

“The State Exams cannot go ahead as planned, that much is clear," ISSU President Emer Neville said.

"This year's cohort of exam students have been very vocal about the disruption they are facing in and out of the classroom.

"There is no online tuition provided to those isolating, and students have missed class time throughout 2021 and 2020, as a result of school closures.

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"There is no way we can stand over assessing these students with the traditional Leaving Certificate.

"We are calling on the Minister of Education to take students' voices into account and revise the decision about State Exams for 2022.”

ISSU Education Officer Jack McGinn pointed out that some students in this year's Leaving Certificate cohort are concerned about not having a Junior Cycle certificate to use for standardisation.

"However, in light of the circumstances, we must put students first as it is their future that will be impacted," he added.

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The ISSU's survey will close on Friday with an estimation of up to 30,000 responses, with its results hoped to launch next Monday.