AFTER weeks and months of resisting calls from parents, politicians and in particular students, Education Minister Peter Weir has finally agreed to cancel this year’s GCSE and A Level exams.
Minister Weir, who had resisted continuous calls for the exams to be cancelled, finally decided to pull the plug after similar decisions were taken in England and Scotland, stating it would now be unfair to disadvantage students here by making them take their exams. His announcement came just days before pupils were due to sit their first round of assessments this week.
With the Covid pandemic showing no sign of abating any time soon, and students once learning from home, the decision has been widely welcomed.
However, the delay by Minister Weir in making it has not. No details on alternatively arrangements have been announced yet.
Cllr Sheamus Greene, who tried to pass a motion in the Council before Christmas calling for the exams to be cancelled which failed due to a lack of support from DUP councillors, said it was “good the minister came actually came to his senses, even at this late stage.”
“When I say a late stage it was at a minute before midnight before he decided to actually do the right thing,” said Cllr Greene.
“Sometimes I wonder a bit about some of our minister, who can’t see the obvious thing that’s happening. Anyone I was talking to could see this coming, how the Minister for Education couldn’t see what was coming I don’t know, or at least have a plan B in place that could have been implemented almost straight away.”
Cllr Greene added: “There are a lot of things we still don’t know about what’s going to exactly happen, even at this stage, which is shockingly bad.
“The minister has the full backing of the Department of Education and rafts of people, advisors and so on, who could have had this in place a plan in the case that this would happen, and nothing seems to have been done. The buck stops with him.”
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