“Additional demands” due to a second sitting of the Leaving Certificate exams could cause delays, according to the Minister for Education.
Since 2020, Leaving Certificate students have had their results delayed until September, despite the traditional August release.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Minister for Education Norma Foley said she has been engaging “on an ongoing basis with the State Examinations Commission.”
“They have additional demand this year and they've had so last year, in terms of the decision that there will be a second sitting of the Leaving Certificate Exam,” she said.
“For those who, for whatever reason, through illness or bereavement might not be in a position to sit the first exam – I think that's right and proper.
“It is my absolute preference that the date for Leaving Certificate would be within the August timeframe,” she said. “I know they're working very, very hard to ensure that that will be the most likely outcome.”
In an article in The Business Post yesterday, the Minister was reported to have said there was “no compulsion” for parents to pay the school’s voluntary contribution.
Some parents reported still feeling this financial pressure, despite the voluntary nature of the payment.
“There is absolutely no compulsion on any parent or guardian to make a contribution of that nature to school,” she told the show.
“I'm very conscious of the additional pressures on schools, particularly in terms of energy costs and an additional €19 billion will be made available to schools specifically for that reason.
“Schools may choose to do additional or other initiatives for the benefit of students and that’s obviously within their choice and remit.”
A change in curriculum in primary schools has meant the Irish language will receive 14% less time in the classroom.
Speaking on this, the Minister said the Department of Education was “introducing modern foreign languages, specifically in terms of Irish.”
“I think the staff in the schools know their students best,” she said.
“We have introduced flexi-hours that can be provided and given to the schools so that for example, if a school identified that the area of difficulty for their students, was the area of Irish, additional time can be provided for Irish.
“It's not a question of cutting time, it actually is the recognition that different schools, different students have different needs at different times.”
This morning, Minister for State for Integration Joe O’Brien informed the Inch residents in Clare that over the next four weeks, no new additional International Protection (IP) applicants will be brought to Magowna House.
Minister Foley did not agree with the view that this was a “show of weakness” by the Government.
“I think if you look at this in the round right across this country, we have 10s and 1000s of people either from Ukraine or those in international protection,” she said.
“In individual communities, there may well be individual circumstances, and in this instance, the residents have pointed to a number of different issues.
“I think if governments choose not to listen to people, I think we would be having a very different discussion here this morning.”
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