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Education minister to give clarity on Leaving and Junior Cert exams in coming days

The National Public Health Emergency Team is due to meet on Friday.

Minister Joe McHugh
Minister Joe McHugh
Image: Niall Carson

CLARITY ON THE Junior and Leaving Certificate exams is expected to be given by the Minister of Education Joe McHugh in the next few days.

The Government has said that contingency plans are under consideration and all decisions will be based on public health advice.

The National Public Health Emergency Team is due to meet on Friday to discuss measures, and it is believed that the public health advice will inform what contingencies are possible.

Last week, the Taoiseach said the Leaving and Junior Cert exams will take place in June.

“We’re asking you to keep studying and to keep focused. We are working on providing you with answers in relation to the exams as soon as possible,” said Liz Canavan, assistant secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach. 

She stated that the practical and oral parts of exams have already been cancelled. 

“The minister has also said that he would prefer to see students get at least two weeks class’ time in school before they have to sit any exams.

“We know that students and their families need clarity on this and we know that you’re feeling a lot of pressure.

“We’re asking you to keep studying and to keep focused. We are working on providing you with answers in relation to the exams as soon as possible.

“Contingency plans are under consideration and all decisions will be based on the public health advice and what happens in relation to current restrictions,” said Canavan.

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“The national public health emergency team will meet again at the end of this week and the minister would hope to be in a position to provide clarity on the junior cycle and leaving certificate in the coming days.

Minister McHugh previously stated that his department is still focused on written exams going ahead.

“We don’t have a baseline in terms of certainty. Ideal scenario would be the virus to peak in mid-April for students to come back after that. But it’s all based on hypothetical scenarios.”

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