'New' Irish paper after blunder

Fri, Jun 8, 2012, 01:00

The State Exams Commission (SEC) is to roll out a ‘new’ exam paper for Monday’s Leaving Irish Paper 1 after a security blunder.

The commission said today CDs for the aural component of the Leaving Cert exam were “issued in error ’’ to a small number of Junior Cert students.

In order to ensure the integrity of Monday’s exam, the commission has decided to issue the contingency or back up exam paper which is always available - if there is a security breach.

The paper has been reissued because it features questions about the content of the CD.

It is understood the Leaving Cert CD was issued to a small number of special needs Junior Cert students at special exam centres yesterday.

No mention of the error surfaced on social networking sites today . But the SEC said it would be prudent for them to issue the contingency paper.

The error is the first security blunder since a more serious incident three years ago when an examiner in Drogheda, Co Louth distributed Leaving English paper 2 instead of Paper 1.

As a result, Paper 2 had to be rescheduled to a Saturday morning at a cost of close to €2 million.

The latest error will see the SEC incurring additional costs for postage, packing and distribution.

Full text of the SEC statement:

"It has come to our attention that during the packing of supplementary CDs for some additional centres for candidates with special educational needs, a limited number of CDs for the Aural component of Leaving Certificate Gaeilge (Higher and Ordinary l vels) were issued in error in place of Junior Certificate Gaeilge (Higher and Ordinary levels) CDs.

"This Leaving Certificate examination is scheduled to take place next Monday, 11th June at 2pm. The error came to light on Thursday, June 7th during the course of the Junior Certificate Gaeilge examinations.

"The integrity of the examinations is of paramount concern to the State Examinations Commission (SEC). In this case the SEC believes that the content of these CDs may have been compromised.

"The SEC deems it prudent in the interests of inter candidate equity that contingency arrangements be implemented. These will provide for a replacement Leaving Certificate Gaeilge Paper I (Higher and Ordinary Levels), and CD to be in place in examination centres on Monday morning, for use at the scheduled time in Monday afternoon’s examination.

"The SEC is satisfied that all arrangements are in place to conduct Monday afternoon’s Leaving Certificate Gaeilge examinations at all levels without disruption to candidates.

"The SEC would like to assure candidates that contingency papers are produced to the same standard as the ‘original’ papers and in accordance with our published principles and protocols.’’