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Half of Junior Cert students denied oral exam – Tóibín

15 February, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Irish language Peadar Tóibín TD has said that it’s incredibly frustrating that half of Junior Certificate students are unable to sit the oral Irish exam. Deputy Tóibín received confirmation from the State Examinations Commission that only 357 out of a total 702 second level schools provided an optional Irish test last year.

An Teachta Tóibín said:

“The introduction of an oral Irish exam for the Junior Certificate was a very welcome and progressive move allowing students to really experience and engage with the language. It is very disappointing that half of eligible students are being denied the option to sit this exam which is worth 40% of their total marks.  

“This is especially frustrating for those students already fluent in the language. I am aware of a number of students from the Rath Cairn Gaeltacht who are being denied this option and it is not fair that they cannot choose to sit an oral exam – they are being put at a disadvantage.  

“I am very sympathetic with teachers and their representative unions and I do not advocate that teachers mark their own students. I am urging the government to step up to the plate and address the concerns of secondary school teachers who do not wish to compromise their role as mentors.

“All students should have the option to do the Junior Certificate oral exam in Irish. The current system in place is unfair to both students and teachers alike, and cannot be allowed to continue.” 

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