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”.