Junior Cycle students heaved a sigh of relief as they collected their much-delayed exam results today, with many recalling how Covid made their learning and study much more difficult.
The State Examinations Commission was due to release the results in September, but that date was pushed to today due to the shortages made worse by the priority and delay of the Leaving Cert results.
The mood outside Pobalscoil Neasáin in north Dublin was positive, with many students happy with their results despite setbacks and Covid.
“There was just a lot of unknown because we had to wait so long, and they are quite new exams, so we didn’t really know how they were going to go. But I think we are all pretty happy with the results,” said Sophie Nannery, one of the students looking over their results at the Baldoyle school.
Another student, Evan Hand, said: “All three of us, we studied French. And learning a language online isn’t the easiest thing to do. So Covid definitely had an impact on it.”
Fellow student Aoife O’Reilly said: “It meant that we didn’t have time to learn as many study skills and bond with our classmates and really work together through that.”
A new system rating has been put into action this year, with students being graded under a range of headings: distinction, higher merit, merit, achieved, partially achieved, and not graded.
“I think the exams went very well today – it’s always nice to celebrate success,” said Karol Sadleir, deputy principal at Pobalscoil Neasáin. “It has been a very chequered journey for these students, highs and lows, but today we certainly cast as one of those highs.
“I think the fallout from Covid will still be reflected in their academic achievements, and I hope that this will be considered for the exams. Because we can still see the legacy of Covid is alive and kicking.
“This particular group have been through a very tough three years of a journey to get to today. They were in first year, then Covid closure in March. They came back to school hoping to get started, then another Covid closure.
“Our group have certainly proved to be resilient, our teachers as well. They’ve done a fantastic job with our weaker kids who were the ones who would have suffered most from those delays.
“The legacy of Covid will last until the last child born during Covid exits the educational system. Every single child has missed out on some part of their normal development and education. This is going to leave its legacy in schools, it’s not going be gone in a year or two.”
Deputy principal Bríd Ní Annracháin said: “Those kids have missed developmental and educational stages – and they are not going to get those back easily.”
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