herald

Friday 9 December 2016

I've given up on passing my Leaving, says dyslexic student

Catherine and Andrea Tse of Camolin, Co Wexford. Andrea is sitting her Leaving cert at FCJ Bunclody Secondary School and has dyslexia
Catherine and Andrea Tse of Camolin, Co Wexford. Andrea is sitting her Leaving cert at FCJ Bunclody Secondary School and has dyslexia

A student who has dyslexia has said she has "given up hope" of passing her Leaving Cert after the State failed to grant a reader to help her during exams.

Andrea Tse (17), from Camolin in Wexford, says she has been left "heartbroken and dejected" by the move especially since she had been assigned a reader for her Junior Cert.

Struggling

Speaking to the Herald, the FCJ Bunclody student said she has been struggling with the papers so far.

"It is really tough and all I can hope for is a pass, but it is very hard.

"I had English Paper Two today, and I didn't get it finished on time because it took me so long to read the paper. I missed out on 40 marks.

"I want to go to college next year to study fashion but the points are very high - I just won't get them."

"I didn't get a reader for my mocks and I failed some of them, so I am not too confident," she added.

Children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties are offered readers based on The Scheme of Reasonable Accommodations at the Certificate Examinations (RACE).

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) operates the eligibility programme.

An SEC spokesperson has said applicants "must show evidence of a specific learning difficulty" to qualify for the scheme.

"Each case is considered on its own merits. It is not subject to any budgetary cutbacks, and the SEC approves all applications that meet the conditions of eligibility."

FCJ Bunclody principal Frances Threadgold has said the school has offered every support to Andrea but insists the issue is out of their hands.

"This is a matter for the SEC. Unfortunately we can't do anymore but we wish her the best in her exams. She is a fantastic and very pleasant young lady," she said.

Flawed

Andrea's mum Catherine has said the system is highly flawed and needs further examination.

"We have raised this with everyone from the school to the Department of Education and our objections have fallen on deaf ears," she said.

"Andrea needs this - she has been certified with severe dyslexia. It is putting strain and stress on her that she just does not need," she added.

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