Late scramble to find enough staff to mark upcoming State exams
An urgent appeal has been made for exam markers for the upcoming State examinations next month.
The scramble to find applicants to correct a wide range of subjects comes less than two weeks before the Leaving Cert and Junior Cycle exams are due to begin.
Yesterday, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) launched what it described as an "urgent appeal" for exam markers.
They require applicants for seven Leaving Cert subjects including business, English, geography, French, German, home economics and Spanish.
In relation to the Junior Cert written examinations, markers are being sought for almost every subject including CSPE, Irish, German, history, home economics, mathematics, religious education, science and Spanish.
The SEC is also seeking exam markers in every other subject for what it said is the "inevitable drop-outs" that will happen in the run-up to, and during, the examinations period.
SEC chief executive Aidan Farrell, said that applicants have "responded generously" to similar calls for additional markers made in previous years.
"We need the help and support of teachers and other qualified applicants and would actively encourage them to apply at this time.
"With the co-operation and active engagement of all those interested in the smooth operation of the Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate examinations, we can ensure that the marking of this year's examinations will proceed on target and to the necessarily high standards," Mr Farrell said.
"Similar appeals in previous years have been responded to generously and we have every confidence that this will again be the case in 2019," he added.
The SEC appoints approximately 3,600 examiners annually to mark the Leaving and Junior Certificate written examinations.
This number includes the examiners contracted to mark the examinations, along with more experienced examiners whose primary role is to quality assure the process through monitoring the work of the core group of examiners and providing advice and support as required.
Examiners appointed by the SEC are selected on the basis of their academic qualifications, their teaching experience and their examination experience.
Payment varies depending on the subject, level and length of paper but rates go from just under €5 to over €30 per paper.
The rates of payments have increased by 2pc this year.