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Parents call for 'creative solutions' for an alternative to traditional Leaving Cert amid coronavirus crisis


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Parents have added their voice to calls for an alternative to reliance on traditional Leaving Cert exams this year.

And they want a decision taken quickly.

The National Parents’ Council Post Primary (NPCPP) says the ongoing public health situation “creates predicaments which make it impossible to categorically state that exams will take place from 29th July as suggested.”

They have expressed concern about what it would take to ensure safety if seated exams went ahead.

The NPCPP is seeking “creative solutions” such as some form of estimated grades with the fallback of traditional exams for those who want to sit them.

The council says student well-being is a priority concern and that Leaving Cert candidates continue to face uncertainty.

“The increasing level of stress and pressures on Leaving Certificate students and their families grows daily and is unacceptable.”

Another key concern is equity and the NPCPP also points to what it describes as the “clear disparity between facilities and support for Leaving Certificate students across the country.”

The council’s statement comes on the eve of a Department of Education–led meeting tomorrow to discuss the assessment options for Leaving Cert students.

According to the NPCC, “one solution cannot and will not offer fairness and equity to all students.

“It is now very obvious that students and parents alike, need clarity and prompt action regarding the Leaving Certificate Examinations and clear alternative options to be made available to them.”

The NPCPP said considerations and decisions regarding the Leaving Cert must be cognisant of the unparalleled situation in which Covid-19 has placed us, as a nation.

“Extraordinary, creative solutions are now required from all involved in education. Plans must be put in place which take account of the extraordinary conditions under which our students face their final senior cycle assessment.

They said a number of possible options have been put forward for consideration by themselves, the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union and others.

It is believed the NPCPP would favour the use of estimated grades based on a student’s track record, with the fall back of traditional exams for those who wanted to sit them.

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