Changes will be made to next year’s State exams to account for the loss of class time students faced due to the pandemic.
The adjustments will give students more choices when it comes to questions while keeping the traditional format of the written papers.
There will be no changes to the length of the exams.
“Students going into their final year at Leaving Certificate have had a difficult year, and it is important that we acknowledge this,” said Norma Foley, the Minister for Education.
The adjustments will acknowledge the disruption faced by students as a result of Covid-19, while also being proportionate to the students' experience and loss of learning, she added.
There is no plan at this stage for calculated grades which had been “an extraordinary measure”. However, the minister said that nothing would be ruled in or ruled out, as it was a fluid, evolving situation.
Speaking on RTÉ, Ms Foley said that anything required to ensure schools can reopen in September will be put in place.
The Department of Education continues to engage with public health officials, meeting on a weekly basis, she added.
When asked about the possibility of children being vaccinated, the minister said the issue was a matter for the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) and the Government would follow their advice. The mitigating measures that had been put in place had been “extremely effective,” she said.
“Significant orders” for C02 monitors have been made for schools and they were awaited.
As the vaccination programme now speeds up with AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines being used for under-40s, Ms Foley anticipated that all teachers would be vaccinated by the return to school, ahead of the original timeline of the end of September.
“I don’t envisage that will be an issue,” she said when asked about unvaccinated teachers expected to teach in classrooms with unvaccinated children.
The details from Nphet this week had been “stark” she said.
“Every one of us would prefer we didn't receive the modeling as bleak as it was. It was a devastating blow for hospitality. We are asking for a pause on indoor dining.”
According to the Department of Education, the level of adjustment to next year's State exams will be similar to the assessment arrangements for Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate examinations 2021, as announced last December.
A revised document, with changes to reflect the syllabus specific to the 2022 State examinations will be published in July.
It is also intended that an alternative set of Leaving Certificate examinations will be run in 2022, shortly following the main set of examinations.
These exams will be limited to students who are unable to sit the main set of examinations due to close family bereavement, Covid-19 illness, and certain other categories of serious illness to be determined.