Republic of Ireland news

Education Minister offers advice to thousands sitting state exams

Students are sitting their exams (Niall Carson/PA)
Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Education Minister Norma Foley has offered advice to thousands of young people sitting their state exams.

The Kerry TD encouraged students to support one another and advised them to “reach out” if they feel under pressure.

About 135,000 students are sitting their Junior and Leaving Certificate exams from Wednesday, with the last Junior Cert exam on June 19 and the last Leaving Cert exam on June 27.

Addressing the students, Ms Foley said it was “a great, great achievement to have got to this point in your education.

“Do the best that you can, give it your all, and I would always say to my own students, all will be well, everything does work out in the end.”

She acknowledged the support offered by families, teachers and school staff, and emphasised that there’s “a whole suite” of career opportunities available to them.

“If you don’t go down the first avenue, there will be a great richness in taking the second path and it might well be an even greater opportunity than the first,” the Tralee teacher said.

“There are so many avenues open to you, if you’re really determined to do something keep after it and it will come to rights for you.”

Asked if she has any advice on how to deal with pressure, she said “reach out” to others.

“I would say to students that at this point, they have done the work, and I know they have done the work.

“If there comes a point where you are under particular stress, or there’s a particular difficulty for you, reach out. I’m a great believer in reaching out.

“Everybody in the school community is invested in every student doing the best that they can do.

“I would say reach out, seek the support from family, from friends. Support one another I would say to the students as you go through the system.

“But also reach out to the school, they’re still there with you. In fact I would always say to students, that even when you leave, once you’ve completed your Leaving Certificate exams, the school will remain an open door to you.

“So, always lean on the support from the school.”

Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday August 25.

Republic of Ireland news