Libyan students fail to sit exams in Malta

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TEN LIBYAN students who were due to sit the Leaving Cert in Malta yesterday failed to turn up at the exam centre yesterday.

Special arrangements had been made by State Exam Commission to facilitate these students who had been unable to sit the exam in Tripoli because of the security situation.

The commission was advised two weeks ago the 10 would sit the exam at the Libyan Vocational Institute in Malta. On this basis, it arranged for two superintendents to travel to Malta to make the necessary arrangements and distribute the exam papers. But no students turned up at the exam centre yesterday.

The commission says it is trying to contact the school authorities but communication with Tripoli is proving difficult. The exam centre in Malta will remain open until tomorrow when the situation will be reviewed.

Meanwhile, 14 Libyan students are taking the Leaving Cert at exam centres in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

Yesterday teachers at a Cork school were commended after prepping nine Libyan students to sit the Leaving Cert at short notice. The nine students joined pupils at Coláiste Choilm in Ballincollig at Easter.

Teachers at the school offered extra tuition on a voluntary basis to accommodate the boys, aged between 17 and 19.

History teacher James Cunningham had been working in Tripoli but was evacuated when the situation became too dangerous.

He stayed in contact with students from the Libyan capital and organised to accommodate them when he took up his post at Coláiste Choilm.

“The students were understandably very anxious about everything, including their education as it became clear they would not be able to finish school in Libya, given the worsening situation there,” principal Pat Kinsella said.

The nine students, most of whom have experienced the full ravages of war, were accommodated by local families in Ballincollig. One was accompanied by his parents.

Their strength of character is admirable, said Mr Kinsella.

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