Students Should Not Be Forced To Sit State Exams During Medical Emergencies
The Irish Second-Level Student`s Union (ISSU) is calling on the Department of Education & Skills and the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to put in place a provision allowing students who are experiencing medical emergencies at the time of their Leaving Certificate exams, so that they have the option to defer the exams and sit them in July along with students who deferred exams due to bereavement.
President of the ISSU, Ciara Fanning commented on the issue, saying “We at the ISSU want students to be able to reach their true potential in the education system. This means allowing students to be in a fit state mentally and physically, whilst sitting the exams that are the culmination of 6 years of second-level education. In no way should students still be feeling the effects of medical emergencies or strong anaesthetics whilst sitting the exam. We are calling on Minister McHugh and the SEC to change this and change it fast so no more students are forced to sit their exams during medical emergencies. These students deserve empathy for their situations and respect in the way they are treated.”.
Ms. Fanning noted that there are many stories of students who had to sit their exams while experiencing medical emergencies. The ISSU has been told stories of students who have been forced to sit Leaving Certificate exams having just given birth, having been in a car crash and having undergone serious operations.
The ISSU recently released a video featuring one of these students, Amy Richards, who sat her Leaving Cert this past June ( Video Link: http://tiny.cc/nex89y ). Amy underwent emergency surgery for acute appendicitis at 1am on the morning of English Paper 1. The surgery lasted four hours, finishing at 5 am. Moments prior to beginning her English Paper One exam she was informed that she was in fact lucky to be alive, being told she had a blood infection, a gangrenous appendix and a large abscess in her stomach.
Having undergone a serious operation during which she was under general anaesthetic, it is clear that Ms. Richards was not in any state, either physically or mentally to sit a Leaving Certificate exam. It is cases like this that the ISSU wishes to cease from happening. Students experiencing serious medical emergencies during their exams must be shown empathy, and the respect for their health that they deserve. This can be done through the extension of the July deferral scheme for bereaved students to those who are experiencing medical emergencies.
Check out the video with Amy Richards here: http://tiny.cc/nex89y