| 5.1°C Belfast

Education minister to give clarity on State exams in coming days

The National Public Health Emergency Team is meeting on Friday to discuss measures in relation to the exams.

Close

Liz Canavan asked the public not to travel over the Easter holidays (Brian Lawless/PA)

Liz Canavan asked the public not to travel over the Easter holidays (Brian Lawless/PA)

Liz Canavan asked the public not to travel over the Easter holidays (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Minister for Education is expected to give further clarity on the Junior and Leaving Cert exams in the next few days.

The Government has said that contingency plans are under consideration and all decisions will be based on public health advice.

The National Public Health Emergency Team is meeting on Friday to discuss measures in relation to the exams.

Last week, the Taoiseach said the Leaving and Junior Cert exams will take place in June.

We're asking you to keep studying and to keep focused. We are working on providing you with answers in relation to the exams as soon as possibleLiz Canavan

The practical and oral parts of the exams have been cancelled.

Liz Canavan, assistant secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach, said: “The minister has also said that he would prefer to see students get at least two weeks class’ time in school before they have to sit any exams.

“We know that students and their families need clarity on this and we know that you’re feeling a lot of pressure.

“We’re asking you to keep studying and to keep focused. We are working on providing you with answers in relation to the exams as soon as possible.

“Contingency plans are under consideration and all decisions will be based on the public health advice and what happens in relation to current restrictions.

“The national public health emergency team will meet again at the end of this week and the minister would hope to be in a position to provide clarity on the junior cycle and leaving certificate in the coming days.

Ms Canavan also urged the public not to travel over the Easter holidays to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

She added: “If we don’t stay the course, all of the sacrifices already made, and all of the work you’ve put in so far, and all of the work done by our front-line workers to try and suppress this virus, won’t be enough.

Close

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

“The only way to slow spread Covid-19 is to stay at home and stick to the guidelines.

“It’s hard but we need to continue what we’re doing to protect ourselves, to protect the lives of our families and our most vulnerable and all of those working on the front-line.

“Our essential workers have to go to work, everyone else’s job is to stay at home. That is how we will save lives.”

She said that two-thirds of all the cases recorded so far are caused by community transmission.

It also emerged that some 19,000 people who were claiming the pandemic unemployment payments have closed their applications.

Ms Canavan said this was because their employers are now availing of the temporary wage subsidy scheme administered by Revenue.

PA