A DOZEN students could sit the Leaving Certificate in Ireland instead of Libya this week because of the continuing unrest in the north African country.
The International School of the Martyrs (ISM) in Tripoli has had students taking the Leaving Certificate since 1997, choosing the Irish exam over other internationally recognised tests for school leavers. The school caters mostly for the children of international diplomats in Libya and had registered 66 students to take this year’s exams.
However, given the highly unstable situation in the country, where a civil war continues and NATO air raids have been taking place since March, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) decided it will not be possible to arrange exams there this year.
The school has been told that students can take their exams in either Ireland or Malta instead.
“At present, the SEC is aware of 12 students who are in Ireland — in Limerick, Dublin and Cork — who had initially been entered to sit in Libya,” a commission spokesperson said.
After liaising with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the SEC decided it was not possible to switch the exams from Libya to a neighbouring country due to concerns for the safety of candidates and SEC staff.
There were also security concerns in relation to the transport and storage of exam papers, leading to the decision to offer an alternative venue in Malta.
The SEC said it is working with the Irish Ambassador, the head of the Maltese Examinations Service and the school authorities from the ISM to facilitate the holding of the exams in Malta.
The school authorities and the families of students are making the necessary arrangements in relation to visa, travel and accommodation for those taking Leaving Certificate exams in either Ireland or Malta.
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