The TUI and the ASTI welcome and endorse recent calls from the Irish Second Level Students Union (ISSU) and Irish language subject association An Gréasán seeking that oral examinations should revert to term time rather than continuing to take place during the Easter break.
Teachers agreed to the holding of oral examinations at Easter on an exceptional basis during the COVID-19 emergency and have consistently advocated a return to the pre-pandemic status quo.
As student representative body ISSU have stated, Easter is an important time for students to take a much-needed break. The clear feedback from all in school communities is that rather than alleviating pressure on students, the holding of oral examinations at Easter time increases pressure, particularly for those taking more than one oral examination in this short time period.
It is having a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of students who miss out on the collegiality and camaraderie normally available around the time of this high-pressure examination. Supports available within regular term calendar are simply not accessible, and the experience becomes overwhelming for some.
ASTI President, Geraldine O’Brien said: ‘The Easter break is an important time for students to take a step back and take stock of where they are in their preparations for the Leaving Certificate Examinations. They also need a break before the final push to June and we fully support their call for a restoration of that break.’
TUI President, David Waters said: ‘A survey of our members showed that 84% of respondents wish to see the examinations take place in the established pre-COVID-19 manner. Clearly, students who have to undertake more than one oral examination during this short time period are now experiencing significant pressure, as the oral examinations previously took place over a longer time frame.'