In-person exams at third level

 

Sir, – One might admire the upper-governance levels’ optimism at Trinity College Dublin in calling for 13,000 students to sit in-person exams but a perspective check should taper this academic enthusiasm.

Trinity will hold two daily sessions of 1,600 students in each session at the RDS Simmonscourt starting December 8th. Students can only seek exam deferral if symptomatic and can provide proof that they have Covid-19.

With Christmas shoppers ferrying into the city centre and students and workers sharing public transport, students’ exam anxiety is compounded with worry surrounding the logistics of in-person exams.

Exposure to infection at an exam could prevent students from achieving academic excellence or returning home for Christmas.

Currently, the student age group – 18-25 years – is the highest who are having PCR tests and are symptomatic. This raises obvious close-contact issues.

The exam proposals sitting safely in student emails from colleges – several colleges intend to hold in-person exams – should instead propose that we take our exams sitting safely at home. – Yours, etc,

GISELE SCANLON,

Graduate Students’ Union,

Trinity College Dublin.