Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 18/12/2023. Tags: Education & Politics Teachers Parenting
ASTI and ISSU issued statements expressing disappointment at the Examination Comission's announcement that 2024 Leaving Certificate Oral examinations will once again be held during the first week of the students Easter Break (Saturday 23rd to Thursday 28th March 2024) - see statements below ASTI Statement - State Exams Commission fails to honour commitment on oral exams
The ASTI has expressed its dismay at the announcement that the 2024 Leaving Certificate orals will be held during students’ Easter break, despite a commitment from the State Exams Commission (SEC) that extensive research would form the basis of any decision.
ASTI President Geraldine O’Brien said the union awaits the conclusion and findings of an extensive evaluation on the impact of conducting the oral exams during Easter, including the findings of research undertaken by University of Galway.
“The announcement that these exams will take place at Easter in 2024 will place additional and unnecessary stress on students. It is vital that students get a break at Easter as this is their last opportunity to do so before they embark on their final preparations for the Leaving Cert exams. This point has already been raised by the students’ representative body the ISSU, as well as by students’ teachers. It is extraordinary that despite this, and despite commitments given to the ASTI regarding an extensive evaluation and engagement with stakeholders, the State Exams Commission is forging ahead.
“It was always understood by teachers and students that the holding of oral exams at Easter during the pandemic was due to a public health emergency. To date, we have not been presented with any evidence-based and educationally sound reason to continue a temporary arrangement made in the context of a crisis. We are extremely concerned about the impact of this announcement on students who will be doing more than one oral exam during their Easter break”.ISSU Statement : ISSU Extremely Disappointed at News of Oral Examinations remaining within Easter Break
The Irish Second Level Students Union (ISSU) is extremely disappointed at the announcement that Oral Examination times will remain within the Easter break. Students are put under undue pressure by taking the orals during Easter. This cuts into a deserved holiday period in which both students and teachers need to rest. Particularly for those who take on more than one oral examination.
The ISSU recognises that the time of orals during the Easter Break was suited to the special circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current circumstances that students and teachers find themselves in have changed and therefore it is no longer suitable to conduct the orals during easter. The Irish Second-Level Students' Union, the TUI, the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI), and the Irish language subject association An Gréasán have all called for the exams to return to the pre-pandemic timings in recent weeks.
ISSU Uachtarán Shari Irfan commented, “it was disappointing to hear that no change would be made to the Oral Examinations time. Particularly after the fact that the changing of times has received support from students, parents and teachers. We look forward to engaging with the Department of Education and other stakeholders to ensure that students are not put under unnecessary pressure”
A poll conducted via the ISSU social media shows that 71% of students would like to sit their orals before Easter, only 29% wish for the Easter times to remain. ISSU are currently waiting for preliminary data from a survey conducted by the SEC on the timing of the oral examinations.
View Examinations Commissions Announcement Here