Cancellation of the Junior Cert
Sir, – There has been justified concern expressed in recent days about the postponement of the Leaving Cert exams and the difficulties posed for students and teachers.
There has been very little comment regarding the plight of the Junior Cert students whose exams have been cancelled just one week after the Government committed to proceeding with these exams this year “by hook or by crook”.
Who could blame these students for any cynicism in the future regarding promises made by politicians?
What the Government now proposes for Junior Cert students is that they sit “school-based” exams early in the next school year.
While acknowledging that the Leaving Cert exams and marking take priority, why can’t the school-based exams use the Junior Cert papers (which we presume have already been prepared) and be marked independently – in so doing, the students would get to do their Junior Cert.
This would be a particularly important achievement for students who finish school at this stage of their education.
Junior Cert students now need concrete evidence from the government and the State Examinations Commission that the work they have been doing for the past two years matters.
Otherwise, why not cancel the Junior Cert in perpetuity, because what the Government is doing now is telling these students that this exam has no value. – Yours, etc,