The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, has re-assured students that the integrity of the examination system has been maintained following prompt action by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).
The Commission put in place a contingency plan as soon as it was made aware of a possible compromise of the aural test for next Monday’s Irish examination in the Leaving Certificate (Higher and Ordinary levels).
Minister Quinn said, “The contingency arrangements being put in place were devised by the Commission to deal with occurrences such as this. I am satisfied that the SEC is taking every step necessary to ensure that the integrity of the examination system is maintained.
“Running the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations is a highly complex logistical exercise involving almost two million individual items. The implementation of these contingency arrangements ensures that the integrity of this year’s examinations is not jeopardised in any way. I have been in regular communication with the Chairman of the State Examinations Commissioners, Dick Langford, since this came to light and will be receiving a full report from the SEC on what transpired,” said the Minister.
About 40,000 students will take the Irish Higher and Ordinary level papers and aural tests on Monday. As well as questions for the written exam, Monday’s papers will contain questions related the aural test. The written examination papers are worth 50% of the marks, the aural is worth 10% while the remaining 40% is accounted for by the oral test which the students undertook in April.
A limited number of Leaving Cert CDs had been inadvertently distributed to a small number of centres for Junior Certificate candidates with special educational needs.
As a result of this, and in order to protect the integrity of the examination, the SEC will provide for a replacement Leaving Certificate Gaeilge Paper I (Higher and Ordinary Levels), and CD to be in place in examination centres on Monday morning, for use at the scheduled time in Monday afternoon’s examination.