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Students want to be involved in decision-making around State exams

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Second-level students want to involved in the decision-making around the Leaving Cert and Junior cycle exams, in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) said there was an immense feeling of uncertainty and anxiety as students await clarification on the exams.

The Government still hoping the written exams will go ahead on schedule, starting on June 3, but it depends on how the public health emergency plays out.

The ISSU is asking Education Minister Joe McHugh Minister to include the student voice in finalising the exam contingency plans.

It is calling for “immediate clarity” and wants to be involved in setting a deadline for when decisions about the exams will be disseminated to the public.

In a statement today, the ISSU said it wanted “to assist in providing clear steps to be taken to ensure fairness and quality for all students and stakeholders involved.”

ISSU president Ciara Fanning said it was “a hugely difficult and confusing time for everyone, but particularly for students who are due to sit State Exams in June.

“Having built up to these exams this year and previous school years there is huge pressure to perform well, and students are now unsure when they will be sitting the exams or if they will happen at all. This makes it incredibly difficult to focus on study and preparation for the exams.

“We need clarity immediately to put students at ease and reduce the immense stress and confusion they are already feeling at this time.”

She said student welfare was paramount at this difficult time and reinforced the need to receive clarification as soon as possible on proposed plans that will impact the students' futures.

The ISSU said it would continue to advocate that students, as key stakeholders in their education, were consulted and included in any decisions to be made regarding their education in the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, the National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCPP) is asking all young people to play their part to protect their community by taking physical distancing seriously.

“The best way to protect your family and friends from being struck down by this horrible disease is to physically keep your distance from each other and to practice good personal hygiene – wash your hands thoroughly and often,” it urged.

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