Vaccination and education

 

Sir, – Our school education system is not perfect, with its overwhelming emphasis on the Leaving Cert, but it is the only model there is for the current sixth-year students. They face into uncertainty about that exam, which may shape their choices and life forever.

By March, our very most vulnerable, along with front-line medical staff, should have been vaccinated. Then the jockeying of interested groups for vaccine access will increase.

I propose that all sixth-year students and their teachers should be vaccinated in March or April. If they, and their teachers, were all vaccinated, then the traditional Leaving Cert examinations could still be held. They are a low-risk group medically, but their mental health cannot be ignored.

Of course, other groups will lose out. This is not a perfect recommendation, but with enough political resolve it is achievable, and sends a strong message to our young people. They are important to us now and in the future, and we are not abandoning them.

This is now policy in Israel, where all students sitting their equivalent exam are being vaccinated. – Yours, etc,

JOHN O’KEEFFE,

Sandycove, Co Dublin.