Public health measures extended for three weeks

Public health measures extended for three weeks

By William O'Connor 

THE public health measures will be extended for a further three weeks until Tuesday, May 5 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed today. 

The extension of the measures was announced by An Taoiseach and the Minister for Health, Simon Harris who both said that the measures are being extended because they are saving lives. 

Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

The Garda Siochana's power to enforce Covid-19 restrictions will also be extended until May 5.

The Leaving Certificate will take place in July/August and the Junior Certificate is to be replaced by class-based assessments. 

Joe McHugh, the Minister for Education, has confirmed that the Leaving Certificate will take place the last week of July or early August with a final decision on dates to be made subject to the public health advice in June.

The Junior Certificate will now be replaced by school based exams and assessments which will take place early in the new school year. All schools are to remain closed until further notice.

Minister McHugh said: “All decisions we are taking in relation to rescheduling exams are based on current public health advice and put the best interests of students first. The welfare of students and that of their families is front and centre in all decision making. 

“The final arrangements for the exams, the exam centres, social distancing and other measures will all be determined by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) on foot of public health advice in June. I want to thank the SEC for its efforts to put in place these revised arrangements.

“Students and their families have been seeking clarity. Today’s announcement addresses that.

“It also provides them with several weeks of advance notice to prepare for the examinations.

“I hope it helps to alleviate some stress being experienced by students and their families at this time.

“Asking Leaving Certificate students and their families to refocus their attention from June to August is not something we do lightly.

“I know it will not be easy.

“However, I believe it is the fairest way of assessing students and giving them certification of achievement in school and a pathway to higher and further education and training, apprenticeship or work.”

Minister McHugh also said: “Students with special educational needs will be fully supported in sitting the rescheduled Leaving Certificate examinations in line with the reasonable accommodations as already arranged for them.”

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