Galway City Councillor Alan Cheevers has called for the Leaving Cert fee to be waived this year due to the uncertainty facing students.
It was announced last week that the Leaving Cert exams have been postponed to either late July or August due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the the Junior Cert has been cancelled.
Alan Cheevers said that students are being asked to provide fees with no formal date of commencement or conclusion, along with no timetable yet.
The Fianna Fáil councillor also said that there is still no guarantee that the exams will take place this summer at all.
The Leaving Cert fee this year is €116.00 candidates who hold a full medical card, or who are covered on all services on a parent or guardian’s full medical card are not liable for these examination fees.
The closing date for a medical card exemption is April 30, and there would normally be a member of school staff assigned to deliver these forms to the relevant students and promote timely payment.
But schools are “not in a position to ensure students have paid” or identify those entitled to an exemption this year due to the problems caused by the Covid-19 crisis councillor Cheevers said.
He added a huge number of students who didn’t have medical card before the outbreak of Covid 19 would now be entitled to one, but that the process to get one has not begun yet.
Cllr Cheevers says the whole country has empathy for exam students and it’s only fair and reasonable that all students be made exempt paying the fee this year.