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New Government Needs Unity on Question of Leaving Exam - says Leading Youth Organisation

Press Release
Youth Work Ireland
06 May 2020

“New Government Needs Unity on Question of Leaving Exam” Says Leading Youth Organisation

Any new Government needs to speak with one voice on the question of the Leaving Cert according to Youth Work Ireland. The organisation whose members deliver second chance education to a number of disadvantaged young people believes that different statements by putative members of the new Government. The group has warned that the closure of schools provides immense challenges for young people and youth organisations have been doing their best to fill the enormous gap. The organisation believes young people deserve to have their needs considered at the moment and exams are front and centre in this, if there is to be change we need to start planning now. The new Government needs to have a clear and united position on this issue according to Youth Work Ireland.

“Since the schools were closed and the late July date was set out we have heard little about young people’s educational needs. Different comments by politicians give rise to growing uncertainty about the feasibility of holding state exams. Young people need clarity and for those in exam classes key decisions about third level and other career options depend on these exams. If alternative arrangements are to be put in place a lot of work will have to be done, students may effectively be required to repeat a year and backlogs or congestion could arise for future years. A lot of thought, planning and discussion is needed around this question and young people and parents need to be involved. There may be ways of delivering the Leaving Cert only but increasingly some students are going to be disadvantaged compared to others” Said Michael Mc Loughlin from Youth Work Ireland.

“We need to remember that the most disadvantaged students may be falling further behind every day schools are closed and are increasingly being put at a potential disadvantage when it comes to state exams due to lack of support at home and limited access to other supports and online facilities. We also need to listen to the voices of young people in the debate. In the economic area all the stops have been pulled out to deal with crisis which is right and proper. In all fields professional and representative bodies and the needs of those they speak for have been involved in decision making. This is a critical aspect of our youth policy and it is vital that young people’s voices be heard in the decisions which need to be taken by the current and new Government” Mc Loughlin added

ENDS

Contact: Michael Mc Loughlin 087 6677499