Waterford students set to begin Leaving Cert on July 29 – Minister
Waterford students look set to begin their leaving certificate examinations on Wednesday, July 29.
The Minister for Education Joe McHugh made the announcement last night on a live Instagram call interview with website Spunout.ie, a website for teens and young adults.
Minister McHugh told those logged on that education officials are working on a detailed timetable that he hopes will be finalised in early June and once the progress of that is known, will confirm the dates of the exams.
He said Wednesday would be his preferred choice of start day, as he does not want students facing into five days of exams in their first week.
“We’re looking at plans, B, C, D and E,” Minister McHugh said.
“There are so many moveable positions. The best answer is that at this point in time, we’re working on making it (July) happen.”
He admitted the July date was reliant upon further progress in the battle against Coronavirus and a further flattening of the curve, while other aspects such as suitable spaces to sit the exams, and length of the exams is also under consideration.
Minister McHugh’s comments follow calls from Fianna Fáil’s Health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly TD for clarity on the Leaving Cert exams, stating it is causing students mental anguish not having a definitive date for the beginning of the exams.
Deputy Donnelly said: “The Leaving Cert is a challenging time for students in ordinary times, however the situation has been exacerbated and heightened given the unprecedented situation we are all facing in containing the Coronavirus.
“I fully appreciate that the public health emergency is the main priority at this time, but we will be facing very serious mental health repercussions unless the government and the Education Minister in particular begins to address the very real concerns of students, teachers and parents.
“They (students) are unable to work to any deadlines without a definitive date, and students who have practicals and coursework as part of their exams are worried about getting access to their materials, which are kept in school.
“I believe the longer this goes on the worse the mental health of Leaving Cert students will become,” Deputy Donnelly concluded.