Teachers union calls for ‘hybrid’ Leaving Cert model

Claire Young

The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) are calling for written exams in place of the hybrid
model for this year’s Leaving Cert, in a statement released today.

TUI proposed further changes should be made to this year’s Leaving Certificate exams to
account for the disruption to learning as a result of the pandemic.

75% of teachers believe that the changes to “course content announced in August 2021
would not be sufficient given the effects of the pandemic”, according to a survey carried out
by TUI.

A majority of those surveyed believe that the same approach to the Leaving Certificate in
2021, a reduced number of questions in each exam with the same time allocation, is
required for this year’s State examinations.

Nadine Collins, a sixth year student at Loreto Secondary School, Co. Donegal, said that she
found the currently proposed format for the Leaving Cert very stressful, “we have all the
course on our exam and in most classes are not even close to finishing [the coursework.]”

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, called on the Minister
for Education “to put students at the centre of the debate on this year’s Leaving Cert, and to
take decisive and urgent action to bring clarity to the Class of 2022.”

The way the Leaving Cert is now is not taking the two years we have had into consideration.
They need to cut some things out and give us more time and options on the papers,” said
Claire Russell, a sixth year student at Loreto Secondary School, Co. Donegal.

Claire discussed how the pandemic has affected her learning over the past two years, with
teachers and classmates frequently being absent, “we are behind in most of my classes”,
she said.

“We have had to deal with the constant fear of getting Covid at school. It is so hard to focus
in class when the constant stress and worry about our current situation is there”, she said.

Measures put in place in order to curb the spread of Covid, such as opening doors and
windows during class time, further impacted her learning experience.

“There was snow on the ground and we were in a prefab with the doors and windows open.
How can you concentrate on what the teacher is saying when you’re in 5 layers, shivering,
and uncomfortable?” she said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that a decision as to how Leaving Certificate Exams will be
delivered will be made this week.

Claire Young

Image Credit: Her.ie