Nwrc Students An Afterthought For The Executive

People Before Profit Cllr Shaun Harkin said, 
“I have been contacted by distressed North West Regional College students who were forced to issue an urgent appeal this week calling for clarity from the Stormont Executive on whether or not they would be required to sit January in-person exams
DUP Department for the Economy Minister Diane Dodds finally issued a statement on January 5 regarding external examinations for BTEC programmes in Further Educational Colleges – but it came too late for those students who attended in-person exams this week. Even though they considered it to be a danger, students felt compelled to attend in-person exams because of a complete lack of clarity. Students have every right to feel let down for being left in the dark.
The last minute decisions by Executive Ministers has created a tremendous amount of stress, anxiety and frustration for all students. However, BTEC students feel they were an treated as an afterthought by the Executive. This entire ‘desperate gambler’ approach by the Executive and this treatment of students is unacceptable. 
For the health and well-being of NRWC students and all students in BTEC programmes, it is urgent for Minister Dodds and the Executive to provide full clarity on January examinations and alternative plans going forward.”  

To Reader,

               On behalf of all the second year in Health and social care level 3 we are writing this to express how mistreated we feel at this current time. They are leaving us constantly in the dark and making us feel extremely unsafe due to covid-19 and the many variants on the rise. We feel whole heartedly let down by our own government who seem to have shown they have no care for BTEC students. We have already been at such a large disadvantage due to a large number of us having to self-isolate most of this year for our own safety.

Despite the fact we’re being put at high risk and haven’t had enough preparation, a lot of the students’ mental health is already bad, and no one is even in the right mind-set to sit an exam. No person should risk their physical and mental health for an exam when thousands of people in our city are already affected by the current pandemic especially students who are putting themselves, other students and their families at risk, teacher’s safety is also being put at risk. As well as for those not sitting in the hall due to additional needs is putting others in risk as well and it does not fair to anyone. Public transport is also a large area of concern for us as it is our only way to collage and given the current rise of cases. At the time of writing this email, the Strabane and Derry council areas are one of the most effected places in Northern Ireland as our cases like many continue to rise. The latest figures by the Department of Health shows that 1,121 people tested positive for the disease from December 27 to January 2.

We feel completely disrespected by PEARSON and the education minister. As at this time it is 24 hours before we have to sit an exam you may be able to understand the urgency of our situation.

How is it fair as we prep for Uni in the coming year, A-Level students have gotten their predicted grades yet we had to sit an exam still later in the year?

How is it not safe for us to do face to face learning, yet we have to sit in an exam hall with the same people?

On behalf of us as second year health and social care students, we hope anyone reading this whole heartedly understands how hard this is for us still as we have at the moment no idea how this situation may pan out for us.


                 The second-year students of Health and Social Care.

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