Students required to wear face masks for Leaving Cert oral exams
Oral exams will begin to take place this week.
Leaving Cert students will be required to wear face masks for their oral exams this year, Education Minister Norma Foley has confirmed.
Last week, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) sent out guidance to schools in regards to the public health measures to be put in place to facilitate exams.
It included the use of social distancing, perspex screens, ventilation and cleaning and sanitation.
Now, the SEC has issued further "supplementary guidance", stating that masks will now have to be worn by both students and interviewers.
In a statement on Wednesday, Minister Foley said: “It is important that both students and staff feel comfortable during the oral examination interviews this year.
"In addition to very clear public health advice issued last week, the SEC has introduced a requirement for both interviewer and student to wear face masks during the entirety of the interview, except in cases where students are already exempted from wearing masks."
The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland welcomed the change, saying it "addresses the concerns raised by members".
The oral exams will be held from Friday, 26 March until Thursday, 15 April and are being organised by schools.
Teachers will ask the questions and conduct the interview, but they will not mark the candidates’ performance.
Instead, the exams will be recorded and submitted to the SEC, where they will then be marked by an external examiner.
Examination interviews will follow the usual format for the subject.