Leaving and Junior Cert students to get full marks for oral and practical exams

19 Mar 2020

Image: © Rido/Stock.adobe.com

To ease pressure on Leaving and Junior Cert students, the Government has decided to cancel all oral and practical exams.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh, TD, announced the unprecedented decision this morning (19 March) to cancel all Leaving and Junior Cert oral and practical exams – and award full marks to students.

These exams, originally scheduled to take place between 23 March and 3 April, have been cancelled due to disruptions and school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Future Human

The measure applies to Leaving Cert oral exams in Irish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese. It also applies to practical performances in Leaving Cert music, as well Junior Cert music and home economics.

Subjects that require project work and course work will also be given extra time to meet deadlines. Students were originally scheduled to complete these elements of the State exams on a number of dates from 20 March to 24 April, depending on the subject. Students will now be given until 15 May to complete this work.

‘The fairest response we could take’

“This is a difficult time for all. Students are facing a challenging period out of school and our decision on this element of the exams is being taken with their best interests at heart,” McHugh said in a statement.

“It is the fairest response we could take in the circumstances. It guarantees that no student will score less than they would have if schools had been operating as normal. I hope this decision will ease some of the pressure that students are feeling and allow them to focus more clearly on completing project work and preparing for written exams.”

With Leaving Cert and Junior Cert exams set to begin in June, the minister said his department will continue to monitor developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will continue to respond at the right time and in the right way, with the impact on our students at the forefront of our minds,” McHugh said.

Schools have also been asked to be conscious of students that may not have access to online facilities and to consider this actively in their responses.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic