Schools across the country will use thousands of classrooms and exam halls for next month’s Leaving Cert exams to make sure students are physically distanced.
The exams traditionally take place in large gymnasiums or halls, however, Covid-19 public health advice means more than 5,000 “exam centres” will be used according to The Irish Times.
The State Examinations Commission will publish a guidance document shortly, which will limit the number of students in a classroom to 10 for exams, with two metres between each desk.
Larger gyms will be permitted to accommodate up to 72 students divided into three groups, with four metres between each desk.
The additional classrooms and gyms used will mean thousands of superintendents will need to be hired to supervise the exams.
Where possible, schools will also be instructed to create a pod of students, so the same group can remain in the same room for the duration of exams, avoiding mingling with other groupings of students.
Schools will be asked to undertake their own risk assessment in relation to rooms without windows that can be opened, to assess the suitability of their ventilation.
Students who are at a high risk from Covid-19, or who are required to self-isolate during the State exams, will be given the opportunity of sitting a different set of exams at a later date.
These candidates will also receive accredited grades, whether or not they opted to receive them.
The majority of over 60,000 Leaving Cert students have opted to receive accredited grades and to sit written exams.
Earlier on this year, Government decided to give students the option of accredited grades, sitting exams, or both, in individual subjects.
Students who opt for both in a subject will automatically receive the higher result.
Figures show 87 per cent of this year’s Leaving Cert students have chosen a combination of accredited grades and written exams.
Six per cent have opted for accredited grades only, while only two per cent have chosen written exams only.