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Leaving Cert students will have to wear a mask during their oral exams

It was hoped that no masks would be worn.

LEAVING CERT STUDENTS will have to wear face coverings while taking their oral examinations, the Education Minister confirmed today. 

Norma Foley said that the public health advice is that masks must be worn by both the student and staff carrying out the exam. 

Last week, it emerged that there were plans to place a perspex barrier between the two parties and that masks would not have to be worn. 

However, in a statement today, Foley said that the public health advice must be adhered to and that masks must be worn. 

She said: “It is important that both students and staff feel comfortable during the oral examinations interviews this year. In addition to very clear public health advice issued last week, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) has introduced a requirement for both interviewer and student to wear face masks during the entirety of the interview, except in cases where students are already exempted from wearing masks.

“I wish all students the very best as they continue to prepare for the oral examinations over the coming weeks.”

Reacting to the news, the ASTI said: “The wearing of face masks by students and teachers will now be compulsory with the exception of candidates who are exempted from wearing masks normally.  The ASTI welcomes this change which addresses the concerns raised by members”.

The oral exams will be held from Friday 26 March until Thursday 15 April.  This year, as part of the public health measures being undertaken to hold the exams safely, the oral interview is being organised by schools.

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This teacher will ask the questions and conduct the interview, but they will not mark candidates’ performance.

The interview will be recorded and will be submitted to the State Examinations Commission. It will then be marked by an external examiner.

Examination interviews will follow the usual format for the subject.

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