Written Answers. - Leaving Certificate Examination.

John Perry


122 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the recent tragic events which occurred in Strandhill, County Sligo, on 17 May 1998 when three young students lost their lives; the plans, if any, he has in place for consideration on the marking of the leaving certificate papers for their friends from schools (details supplied) who are finding it extremely hard to cope in view of the fact they are unable to concentrate and cannot work to their full potential in the examinations and this may be reflected in their results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15425/98]

Annually the certificate examinations can give rise to situations where some factor, affecting a candidate or candidates at a personal level must be balanced against the general requirements of equity. While my Department would wish to do all that it can to help students who have to cope with adversity in their lives, there is also the need to apply uniform and objective criteria to the marking of students work.

My Department tries to achieve this balance through making every reasonable provision for candidates to demonstrate their full ability at the actual examination while at the same time applying the marking scheme to the work produced by each student.