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Plan still for State exams to go ahead in early June

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The Government is still hoping that the written exams in the Leaving Cert and Junior Cycle will run in June as usual.

The shutdown of pre-schools, schools and higher education colleges has been extended, and the earliest they will reopen is Monday, April 20, on the advice of public health experts.

But, as the prolonged closure of the education system was announced, Education Minister Joe McHugh said: "We are doing everything in our power to make sure those exams happen."

Focused

He urged students facing the State exams to "keep focused, keep working and try, as much as possible, to prepare as normal".

The orals and practicals, which were due to start this week, have been cancelled and, if running all the written exams is not feasible, the Leaving Cert will get priority.

The reopening of schools and the normal conduct of exams both depend on how the Covid-19 public health emergency plays out.

In the worst-case scenario, schools would not return until late August/September, more than five months after closing their doors on March 12. The extended shutdown leaves little time for post-primary schools, which wrap up by the end of May anyway, to resume in a meaningful way in the current academic year.

The primary school year continues to the end of June, so that offers more time for a resumption of normal classes.

Irish Independent