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Many Secondary students want more options in this year's Leaving Cert

Secondary students want more options this year to make up for Covid's disruption to school. 

According to the Second Level Students' Union (ISSU), many students have missed out on classes because there's no online tutoring for those at home. This year's Leaving Cert and Junior cert exams will have more choice in questions, but ISSU said further changes were needed to account for the added disruption students are experiencing.

Nevertheless, Emer Neville, ISSU uachtarán, said the union is surveying its members on the subject this week and will wait for the results before reviewing its stance. Last year, the ISSU called for a choice between exams and accredited grades, and that eventually convinced the Government to run a hybrid Leaving Cert.


Labor and Sinn Féin have called for such a move already. Meanwhile, Fine Gael senator Regina Doherty said sixth-year students are entitled to the same "compassionate" options as previous years. She said that she had received a lot of emails from students  whose school lives and mental health have been affected by the unpredictability of today's climate.


But The Social Democrats' co-leader, Raisin Shortall, has said that a hybrid Leaving Certificate wouldn't work this year. This year's group of Leaving Cert students have had a tough time, she said on Radio One's This Week. This is the third school year now that Covid has affected leaving cert and junior cert exams in a significant way.

But she felt that because the Junior Cert was cancelled in 2020, students who didn't do Transition year in school wouldn’t have taken the Junior Cert. So there'd be no objective measure to accredit grades. The Government has said that it’s policy is to revert back to traditional written Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams this year. 

In order to allow for students with Covid and other illnesses, there will be two sets of Leaving Cert exams in the summer.


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