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Kilkenny teacher insists traditional Leaving Cert should still go ahead

It comes amidst calls for the exams to be scrapped due to current school closures, with the GCSEs and A-levels already cancelled in Northern Ireland.

A local education expert is calling for the Leaving Cert to go ahead this summer.

It comes amidst speculation over whether the traditional in-hall exams can safely take place as Covid cases continue to rise.

Education Minister Norma Foley has faced calls to cancel the exams, after the A-levels and GCSE’s in Northern Ireland have already been scrapped.

However, Carl Lynch of St Kieran’s Secondary School in Kilkenny, says the virus could be under control by June, when the exams are scheduled;

“Things are going to be completely different in June. There will come a tipping point in this once the vaccine’s rolled out and we get or numbers down” he says. “So could the Leaving Cert go ahead in its traditional manner? I think it could, and it probably should. I know it’s a tough exam, and it’s hard, but it’s absolutely fair. I think that’s the biggest thing that’s being lost in all this, it is actually fair in that a kid has to have done their work and once they go into the exam, if they perform they get their results.”

Meanwhile, local students’ opinion on whether their exams should go ahead is split 50/50.

Carl, who runs the online grinds school revise.ie, says he’s heard many mixed views on the issue.

Yet he says both himself, and many of his students, feel the traditional exams would be much fairer than a predictive grades system;

“I’d say half the students actually want to do the exam, the other half are on the verge of saying no I don’t want to do it. I know that’s where they’re at when I speak to them at grinds it’s half and half” Carl explains.

“At the moment, they should realise the exam is happening until they’re told otherwise. It’s a bit too early to just say we’ll cancel the exams. I think the exams should go ahead until it comes to a level where it’s actually too dangerous.”