Teachers Appeal for Scheduling Oral Examinations Replacing the Easter Break

Easter Break

Teachers have issued a warning, expressing concerns that both staff and students will experience burnout unless all Leaving Cert oral exams are returned to term-time scheduling.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, unions had agreed to the exceptional arrangement of holding oral examinations at Easter. However, they are now advocating for a return to the pre-pandemic status quo regarding the exam timetable.

At the recent annual convention of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI), members unanimously supported a motion urging against the use of Easter, mid-term breaks, and weekends for State examination sittings, citing concerns for student and staff well being.

Despite this, exams were once again scheduled during the Easter break this year, leading to increased stress and exhaustion among students, with teachers sacrificing holidays to supervise exams.

Speaking at the convention, delegate Jane O’Dwyer from the Tipperary branch emphasized the importance of teachers having their holidays, advocating for the return of exams to term-time scheduling.

Bridget Carley, secretary of the Mullingar branch, highlighted the overwhelming workload students faced leading up to and during the Easter break, questioning the necessity of scheduling exams during this time.

Delegate Orla O’Callaghan from the west Mayo branch emphasized that teachers are not machines and require breaks for their own well being.

Overall, there is a consensus among teachers that scheduling exams during holiday periods not only impacts student and staff well being but also undermines the importance of providing adequate breaks for both groups.

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