The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) welcomes the recent statement by the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, to delay the plans bringing forward Paper 1 in English and Irish to the end of 5th year starting with 5th years of 2024. The ISSU could foresee issues with the reforms being implemented. The ISSU shared these concerns with with other education stakeholders and department officials’
The ISSU values the engagement with Minister Foley and the Department of Education on this matter. The ISSU from the first engagement with this plan, the ISSU voiced serious concerns regarding the severe impact such a major change could have on the student body with this major change. The ISSU has raised major concerns with the Department of Education warning of the potential for increased student anxiety and stress levels as a result of the plan and the turbulent period experienced by incoming leaving certificate students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caitlin Faye Maniti, ISSU Uachtarán on the matter said: There is a sense of relief amongst the cohort of students who were initially planning to sit these exams at the end of 5th year in 2024.
The ISSU has identified serious concerns for students in regards to this interim measure; the lack of clarity on the logistics, the impact of TY and the fundamental design of the curriculum to be examined at the end of two years. The ISSU are determined to continue to advocate for a solution that reduces the stress and anxiety for students during their Senior Cycle journey.
Jack McGinn, ISSU Education Officer: The ISSU proposed to delay the planned changes, to ensure adequate time to engage with statutory bodies and educational stakeholders. Senior Cycle Reform is a difficult issue that must be dealt with in a delicate manner. Students were at the forefront of engagements, ensuring those who would sit the exams are represented at the decision-making table. The ISSU recognises the engagement by Minister Foley and officials.
The ISSU is committed to continue to positively engage with the Department of Education and all other stakeholders on Senior Cycle Reform and is eager to seek long term reforms that are mutually agreeable and student centered. The ISSU fundamentally believes that there is no conversation about students, without students.