People Before Profit TD calls on Minister for Education to support students’ ‘no detriment campaign’ in light of Covid 19 crisis
Richard Boyd Barrett TD to write to Minister calling for support for ‘no detriment’ policy and give reassurance to thousands of anxious students
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has called on the Minster for Education to respond to, and support, a campaign by third level students across multiple universities in Ireland, as well as the UK, to implement a ‘no detriment’ policy. A ‘no detriment’ policy would ensure that no student would receive an average grade lower than the average they had achieved in the last semester prior to the disruptions caused by the outbreak of Covid 19, thus providing them with a safety net. It also stipulates specific assessment criteria for all students at third level.
Deputy Boyd Barrett has received many correspondents from students and student unions in his locality and elsewhere on this matter. Students have outlined the many difficulties and barriers to achieving the maximisation of their academic potential due to the very challenging and unchartered Coivd 19 situation.
Amongst a very large range of problems facing students in this current situation are the lack of access to books and study facilities in university libraries, laboratory facilities, satisfactory broadband and computers. It has also been outlined that some students maybe facing a situation where they are carers for sick relatives and loved ones during this public health emergency. Students may also be facing mental health difficulties during this time or an abusive living environment. Students may also be in housing conditions which are not conducive to study.
The People Before Profit TD offered his full support to the students and their campaign and called on Minister McHugh to act on this campaign by students.
He said: “The stress and situations being faced by many students all over Ireland cannot be over emphasised and the severe limitations being put on university campuses and student bodies because of the Covid 19 emergency has made study and academic achievement extremely hard for many.
“Students have paid many thousands of euros in order to attain diplomas, degrees, masters degrees and PHDs. Due to the measures being taken in this public health emergency many students are facing situations that are not conducive, and in many ways obstructive, to their academic potential.
“The universities need to recognise the severe stresses and issues being faced by their students and provide a ‘no detriment’ safety net to ameliorate the serious stress and concerns of their students.
“In that light I am echoing and supporting the call of the many thousands of students who have signed petitions for a ‘no detriment’ policy to be implemented in universities across Ireland so that there can be no concern of disadvantage being suffered by any student during this time.
“I am calling on the Minister for Education and the government to support the students and their call. The Minister now must get the third level institutions in this country to apply a ‘no detriment’ policy when assessing students for their grades. I will be writing Minister McHugh to this effect.”