Students union says Leaving Certificate may not proceed as planned this year

The Irish Second Level Students’ Union (ISSU) has said that state exams may not proceed as planned this year due to Covid-related disruption.

Under the current plans, students appearing for the 2022 state examinations will see adjustments and more options in their examination papers keeping in mind the impact of the pandemic on education in the last two years.

There will also be two sets of Leaving CERT exams during the summer for those who are ill with COVID-19 or are in isolation.

However, the union representing the second level students has called the decision to go ahead with the traditional examinations as “absolute disregard for the best interests of the students”.

ISSU President Emir Neville said this year’s test group of students “has been very vocal about the disruption that is taking place in and out of the classroom”.

“No online tuition is offered to those in isolation, and students have lost class time in 2021 and 2020 as a result of school closures,” she said.

“There is no way to assess these students with the traditional Leaving Certificate. We are calling upon the education minister to heed the voice of the students and review the decision of state examinations for 2022.”

ISSU Education Officer Jack McGinn acknowledged the concern that some students in this Leaving Certificate group did not complete the Junior Certificate, because of the use of junior-cycle data to standardize estimated grades over the past two years.

“However,” he added, “in light of the circumstances, we must put students first because it is their future that will be affected.”

The union is surveying students on the matter, with provisional results showing a clear side towards a hybrid model, a choice between projected grades or appearing for exams.