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CAO should explain itself to Dáil Committee - Crowe

2 February, 2007

Speaking in relation to the CAO on-line applications debacle, Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD called on 'the CAO to come before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education to explain this fiasco'.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "I have been personally contacted by frustrated and concerned parents and students alike who from at least the evening of the 29th of January found the CAO website to be inaccessible. The deadline for CAO applications has now elapsed, leaving many already stressed students wondering if their CAO application will be processed, jeopardising their entry into college.

"It is unacceptable that students applying online were asked to pay a further €10 to the €35 on-line fee in order to apply through the post. This situation was not caused by students and therefore they should not be financially penalised. All such students should be reimbursed. Parents have contacted me stating that they have got no satisfaction whatsoever from the CAO when attempting to air their grievances.

"This year's controversy follows on from last year when the CAO computer system crashed as students prepared to submit their change-of-mind options.

"I am calling for the CAO to be summoned to a Joint Oireachtas Education Committee in order to explain the current situation and to ensure that it will be prevented from occurring in the future. The Minister for Education needs to show some leadership on this issue and ease the worries of already under-pressure students. Mary Hanafin needs to outline what measures if any she proposes to introduce to ensure that there is not a repeat performance of this fiasco next year."


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