Union Campaigns for Clarity on 2020 State Examinations

ISSU asks the Minister for Education & Skills to include the Student Voice in the discussion on contingency plans for 2020 State Examinations.

— By Ciara Fanning, President, ISSU

Ciara Fanning, President, Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU).

Ciara Fanning, President, Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU).

The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), as the national representative body of second-level students, is calling on the Minister for Education and Skills to provide clarity on the contingency plans being arranged for the 2020 State Examinations.

Student Anxiety

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the nation of Ireland and the ISSU recognizes the huge effort and steps the government is taking to protect the public. The ISSU continues to follow, support and promote the Health Service Executive guidelines for the well-being and safety of all our members. However, in these unprecedented times, for thousands of examination students across Ireland, there is an immense feeling of uncertainty and anxiety as each student eagerly waits for clarification on their exams.

Request for inclusion of Student Voice

The ISSU is asking the Minister for Education and Skills to include the student voice in finalizing these contingency plans. The ISSU is requesting to be involved in setting a clear deadline for when these decisions will be disseminated to the public and to assist in providing clear steps to be taken to ensure fairness and equality for all students and stakeholders involved.

Pressure on students to perform well

This is a hugely difficult and confusing time for everyone, but particularly for students who are due to sit State Exams in June. Having built up to these exams this year and previous school years there is huge pressure to perform well, and students are now unsure when they will be sitting the exams or if they will happen at all. This makes it incredibly difficult to focus on study and preparation for the exams. We need clarity immediately on the State Exams to put students at ease and reduce the immense stress and confusion they are already feeling at this time.

Importance of student welfare

Student welfare is paramount at this difficult time and reinforces the need to receive clarification as soon as possible on proposed plans that will impact the students’ futures. The ISSU will continue to advocate that students, as key stakeholders in their education, are consulted and included in any decisions to be made regarding their education in the coming weeks and months.

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