Taoiseach Leo Vardakar said the government will do “everything possible” so that the Leaving Certificate and college exams will go ahead.
It comes as Education Minister Joe McHugh confirmed on Tuesday that although schools are closed up to March 29, they will not be opening immediately after that.
Speaking at a press briefing in Government buildings on Tuesday, Mr Varadkar said: “The Education Minister is working on contingency measures for the leaving cert to go ahead and the Junior Cert if possible. Obviously the leaving cert is more important.
“We will do everything possible and feasible that we can so that the leaving cert can go ahead and so that group of young people can start college in October and November if that is possible.”
Earlier, Mr McHugh told Galway Bay FM: “My commitment to the students and for the students who are maybe having their breakfast this morning and maybe getting ready to study and really, really putting in such an effort, my commitment to them, and the Department’s commitment is, we want to make those exams happen.
“Obviously we are going to be influenced and directed by the health experts. We don’t know where we are going to be in terms of the peak of this virus.
“I think we owe it those young people who are studying and putting in the effort to see this through to try to have these exams this year. When I say this year I mean the dates that are defined for this year. That’s what we are working towards.”