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Leaving Cert clarity is “most welcome”

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By Michelle Crean

There has been mixed reaction to news this week that traditional sit-down State exams are to go ahead in June after an announcement by Education Minister Norma Foley.

Students had been calling for changes to the 2022 Leaving Cert including a hybrid exam where students could choose between being awarded accredited grades or sitting an exam.

Many, including students who spoke to the Killarney Advertiser last week, said they feel under pressure as they've missed school days due to COVID-19 and feel a hybrid exam would suit them better.

A nationwide survey last week, conducted by ISSU, found 40,000 students also wanted the hybrid exams.

"The Leaving Certificate class of 2022 has experienced significant disruption to their learning and their school experience," Minister Foley said.

"In light of this, following extensive engagement with the advisory group on planning for State examinations, I can confirm this plan for significant changes to the examinations, which takes account of the experiences of students during the pandemic and will provide the best possible pathway for this year’s Leaving Certificate students."

She added that students "had a number of concerns" and "wanted clarity and certainty" and that she has asked the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to "put in place measures to ensure that the overall set of results in the aggregate for this year will be no lower than last year".

"I can confirm extensive changes to the written paper in acknowledgement of the challenges our students have faced. They build on the changes already made to the papers and notified to students last August. These combined changes mean that students need not be concerned that they will be disadvantaged compared to their peers. The exams will be structured in a familiar way, but with more choice and a reduction in the number of questions to be answered this will not be the traditional Leaving Certificate exam."

An alternative set of LC examinations will be run this June following the main set of examinations, "limited to certain categories of students, such as those who experience a close family bereavement, COVID-19 illness and certain other categories of serious illness, during the first examination period". However, there will be strict eligibility criteria applying to this contingency sitting, she added.

REACTION

St Brendan's College student Kacper Bogalecki, who is a National ISSU representative, gave his thoughts on the announcement.

"Having spoken to students when we first heard the news, they were not pleased with the outcome," he told the Killarney Advertiser.

"It was clear to us, by consultation with students, that they wanted a hybrid Leaving Certificate. Unfortunately, this was not the case which resulted in a bit of disappointment. A lot of students over the past month have very much entertained the idea of a hybrid LC and having that safety net of an accredited grade going into the written exams was comforting to them."

However, he said that the hybrid Leaving Cert model for this year would have been flawed because a quarter of current Sixth Years do not have Junior Cert results to compare to, and a host of other reasons too.

"Having the same changes made to the papers as last year's cohort received, whilst also ensuring that this year's Leaving Certs are not going to receive lower grades than those of last year's LC class is a fair solution, one that I think many students now understand is the best way forward and one which puts us on a level playing field. Moreover, we finally have an answer, students have clarity on what will happen in June and they now have a direction towards which they are headed. This is most welcome."

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Country Queen Cliona Hagan to play Sneem Hotel

Get ready for a glamorous evening of country music as bombshell Cliona Hagan, one of Ireland’s most beloved country music stars, takes the stage at Sneem Hotel on Saturday, May […]

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Get ready for a glamorous evening of country music as bombshell Cliona Hagan, one of Ireland’s most beloved country music stars, takes the stage at Sneem Hotel on Saturday, May 11, 9:00 PM.

Known for her powerful vocals, captivating stage presence, and chart-topping hits, Cliona Hagan promises to deliver a memorable performance that will have the audience on their feet and singing along all night long.
The concert, set against the stunning backdrop of Golden’s Cove at the Sneem Hotel, promises to be an unforgettable experience for country music fans of all ages. From heartfelt ballads to lively toe-tappers, Cliona Hagan’s versatile repertoire ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Tickets for the concert are priced at €25 and can be purchased at the door on the night of the event. Don’t miss your chance to see Cliona Hagan live in concert at Sneem Hotel on May 11th. Overnight hotel stay packages including dinner and concert tickets, bed and breakfast are also available!
For more information, please visit www.sneemhotel.com or contact 064 667 5100.

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Coffee morning for Kerry Cancer Support Group at the Royal

Killarney Royal is hosting a Charity Coffee Morning on April 19, in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group. Join the team at Killarney Royal from 10.30am-12pm where fresh coffee, […]

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Killarney Royal is hosting a Charity Coffee Morning on April 19, in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group.

Join the team at Killarney Royal from 10.30am-12pm where fresh coffee, delicious homemade scones, pastries and treats await in the newly refurbished lobby and bar.

All guests attending will also have the chance to be entered into a raffle with a number of wonderful prizes on offer throughout the morning. Volunteers will also be on hand to accept donations, with all proceeds going to the Kerry Cancer Support Group.

“The Kerry Cancer Support Group work hard each day to provide an excellent service and are devoted to maintaining a warm, welcoming environment while ensuring that service users have immediate access to free programmes and resources. Killarney Royal are delighted to support this incredibly worthy charity,” said Brand Sales and Marketing Executive Aoibheann O’Leary.

All are welcome on the morning, with no pre-booking needed.

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