Thursday 29 September 2016

'I want to study here, I want to work here' - Student who achieved 575 points in Leaving Cert appeals for State support

Louise Kelly and Katherine Donnelly

Published 13/08/2015 | 10:15

Anna Kern
Anna Kern

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan is involved in finding ways to fund college education for an asylum seeker Anna Kern, who notched up 575 points in her Leaving Certificate.

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Ms Kern, who came from the Ukraine with her mother two years ago, wants to study physiotherapy.

But, under existing rules, she  is not able to access State support such as the SUSI grant and the “free” fees scheme.

She lives in Direct Provision accommodation in Knocknasheen, Co Limerick with her mother, who is not permitted to work.

Anna  attended Coláiste Nano Nagle in Sexton Street , whose principal Marion Cummins said that Anna had no way of paying for third-level education and she claimed the Government was abandoning her.

The minister said today that several avenues were being explored such as college assistance funds that help students in need.

Shanuna Byrne, 19, left, and Sinead Power celebrate after receiving their Leaving certificate results at St Raphaelas Secondary School in Stillorgan. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 12/8/2015
Shanuna Byrne, 19, left, and Sinead Power celebrate after receiving their Leaving certificate results at St Raphaelas Secondary School in Stillorgan. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 12/8/2015
12/8/15 REPRO FREE Success all around for Cistercian College Leaving Cert students. The Roscrea College comes away with great results. Pictured are Paddy McKeon, Naas and Jack Buckley, Nenagh. Pic Sean Curtin Fusionshooters.
Here's happy Lucy Prendeville from Sacred Heart in Tullamore. Submitted by Catherine Prendeville who says Lucy is a "great girl" and that Lucy, who earned a whopping 8 A1s, is hoping to study Nanoscience in Trinity.
12 Aug 2015: Students after receiving their Leaving Cert results. O'Connells School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
12 Aug 2015: Hayley Briody, 17, from Drumree, Co. Meath, gets a kiss from her mother Shelia after receiving her Leaving Cert results (and 595 points). Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Adam Atouani, 17, left, and Sean Stevenson, 17, both from Dublin 1, celebrate after receiving their Leaving Cert results. O'Connells School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Tricia Keogh submitted this photo of happy Taylor McHugh from Ballyfermot
12/8/15 REPRO FREE Success all around for Cistercian College Leaving Cert students. The Roscrea College comes away with great results. Pictured are Paddy McKeon, Naas, Adam Flaherty, Nenagh, Martin Phelan, Laois and Cormac Phelan, Laois. Pic Sean Curtin Fusionshooters.
Emma Downes submitted this photo of her cousin Lauren through Facebook, saying "This little cutie had a twinkle in her eye starting junior infants, secretly she was reaching for the stars with her intelligence, we are all so proud of our cousin Lauren Markey, your hard work and dedication has paid off. Here's to the next chapter in your life. Love you loads XXX. Lauren had a tough year with the passing of our dear grandmother, so gettting her 485 (including an honour in honours maths) is a fantastic achievement."
12/8/15 REPRO FREE Success all around for Cistercian College Leaving Cert students. The Roscrea College comes away with great results. Pictured is Liam Walsh, Carrigaline Cork who plays under 20s with Munster celebrates hiss fantastic Leaving Cert results at the Cistercian College, Roscrea with his parents Joe and Jacky who celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary yesterday (Wednesday). Pic Sean Curtin Fusionshooters.
12 Aug 2015: Katie McGuinness, left, 18, from Swords, and Sian Walton, 18, from Ashbourne, after receiving their Leaving Cert results. Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Laura Delaney (left) submitted this photo of her and friend Naomy Bikunda receiving their results at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Laura said both of them were absolutely delighted.
12 Aug 2015: Hayley Briody, 17, from Drumree, Co. Meath, with her Leaving Cert results (595 points). Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Proud mum Aoife Glancy Carey submitted this photo of her son Ryan Glancy Carey and his grand parents, Antoinette and Sean Glancy. "The apple of their eye." Ryan, from Glasnevin, went to Mount Temple on the Malahide Rd.
12/08/15 Maria Westwood, Leixlip Dairine O'Rourke, Celbridge and Nicole Flynn from Leixlip pictured this morning picking up their Leaving Cert results from Col?iste Chiar?in, Leixlip.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Aibhe Sheridan from Rush with her mother Sinead after receiving the results of her Leaving Certificate exams at St Josephs's secondary School, Rush, County Dublin as her music teacher Aine Lynch looks on. Pic:Mark Condren 12.8.2015
12/08/15 Kiera Kilduff and Danu McGownan from Lucan pictured this morning picking up their Leaving Cert results from St. Josephs College, Lucan.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Aibhe Sheridan from Rush with her mother Sinead (on left) and music teacher Aine Lynch after receiving the results of her Leaving Certificate exams at St Josephs's secondary School, Rush, County Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 12.8.2015
12 Aug 2015: Clare O'Brien, 18, from Dunshaughlin, with her mother Una shedding a tear, after receiving her Leaving Cert results (and 505 points). Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
David O'Rourke from Rush and Brian Flynn from Lusk after receiving the results of their Leaving Certificate exams at St Josephs's secondary School, Rush, County Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 12.8.2015
12/08/15 Kiera Kilduff and Danu McGownan from Lucan pictured this morning picking up their Leaving Cert results from St. Josephs College, Lucan.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Ellie Farrell is congratulated by her mum Linda, as she receive her Leaving certificate results at St Raphaelas Secondary School in Stillorgan. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 12/8/2015
12 Aug 2015: Sian Kiernan, left, 17, Finglas, and Darragh Clarke Hagan, 18, from Navan after receiving their Leaving Cert results. O'Connells School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Emma Cunningham, left, and Chelsea Traynor, students at St Raphaelas Secondary School in Stillorgan celebrate as they receive their Leaving certificate results. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 12/8/2015
12 Aug 2015: Ellen Kelly, left, 19, from Ranelagh, celebrates with Anna Fitzpatrick, 19, from Navan road, after receiving their Leaving Cert results. Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
12/08/15 Sarah Dunne and Niamh Blanch from Palmerstown pictured this morning picking up their Leaving Cert results from St. Josephs College, Lucan.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
12/08/15 Raissa Ndakengerwa from Leixlip pictured this morning picking up her Leaving Cert results from Col?iste Chiar?in, Leixlip.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
12/08/15 Dairine O'Rourke, Celbridge is congratulated by her mother Trish pictured this morning picking up their Leaving Cert results from Col?iste Chiar?in, Leixlip.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

“We have been making enquiries” the Ms O’Sullivan said today, during a visit to the National Parents’ Council post primary (NPCpp) Helpline 2015.

It is understood that another option being explored is the possibility of a philanthropic donation.

The minister met Ms Kern last week and will speak to her again tonight.

The minister is working on a new scheme to support asylum seekers in third-level education, which will be announced soon.

However,  even that scheme would be of no benefit to Anna, as it will be restricted to asylum seekers who have already spent five years in the Irish education system.

She told Independent.ie:

"I want to study here, I want to work here. I want to do everything I can in Ireland," she said this morning.

Read more: Leaving Cert: Mother's grief at collecting tragic Melissa's results

The school's principal Marion Cummins claimed the Government is abandoning Anna and has called for the introduction provisions for the continuation of studies for asylum seekers who have the ability and who want to learn.

Read more: David on top of his game with nine A1s and a stellar 925 points

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