The Minister for education has commented on the marking of Oral Exams for this year’s Leaving Certificate. Minister Norma Foley said “The State Examinations Commission (SEC), which is charged with the responsibility of running the state examinations, has confirmed that the marking of the oral examinations is ongoing and has not concluded.
“In line with the SEC’s quality assurance arrangements, the SEC continues to monitor the marking process and, as part of this, will give its consideration to any actions that may be required. Minister Foley said she was very conscious that students are sitting examinations at present and the reassurance of the SEC is important as it encourages students to continue to concentrate their efforts on the written examinations at this time.”
Opposition TDs had raised concerns over the marking process for oral exams that were carried out under unusual circumstances due to Covid-19 restrictions. This year, teachers ran the exams with their students and sent a recording of the conversation to the State Examinations Commission to then be marked by an examiner. It has been reported that one examiner who marked 78 orals found that a significant number were not carried out in line with instructions that were sent to teachers.
This meant that some students were not asked enough required questions or given the opportunity to address key sections of an exam.