5th Years Have Been Forgotten

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Dear Leo Varadkar , Department of education and to Whom else it may concern

Now is a time of great stress for all, we have many selfless members of our communities and states who are all contributing to make sure that we as one persevere through this time.

Recently the the department of education has called for the cancellation of leaving cert examinations for the current year in order to ease the stress on students who are in their final year of the senior cycle, I agree with this action, apart from the overlooking of the senior cycle as a whole, although 6th year students are the priority at the current time, I feel that the fact that the entire senior cycle (6th&5th) has been overlooked.

The current situation has a knock on effect that transcends the current year, at present students are attempting to teach themselves their leaving cert course at home. The home is most definitely not an ideal place for learning and it’s not a steady learning environment for the majority of people.For many , myself included, the current online learning poses a problem for many sections of the leaving cert course. I like many others find it difficult to revise and prepare these sections of the course alone and even with help from the online classes there is a barrier between teacher and pupil and is unfair to those who do not have undivided access to these facilities

Not only this but on return to the normal school environment teaching will be ramped up to a faster pace in other to cover these sections, thus causing the quality of both written and oral components of exams to drop, and for those students who have a lesser ability in these subjects but truly work hard to keep higher level up will have no choice but only to opt out of the higher course which is grossly unfair to there ethic and determination to keep up the higher course.

Points for college courses will rise significantly next year due to the number of people planning on repeating their 6th year or resitting the exams in 2021. This adds extra competition for current 5th years and limits the places in college courses even more.

5th years are also likely to lose out on more vital classroom time in their 6th year. If you cannot sit 61000 students in 723 large sports halls (average 84 students) in August with social distancing, then you cannot put 30 students in classroom in September October November.

We 5th years understand these are exceptional circumstances. We understand there are bigger problems. We just want to be kept in the loop about our future and our education.

Thus we are calling for some action to be taken on the leaving cert 2021, for the betterment of well being and mental health of all in senior cycle not just 6th year. We’re not looking for immediate action, just some clarity about our future.