Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education and Skills Senator Averil Power has called on the State Examination Commission to release the Junior Certificate results on a Friday rather than a Wednesday, in a bid to tackle binge-drinking and unsafe partying among minors.
Senator Power said: “In September of last year, the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) called for a change in day the Junior Cert results were released. The belief is that it would be more difficult for young teenagers to hire party venues and drink in pubs and clubs on a Friday night, when places are busy with older crowds.
“Fianna Fáil in Government was supportive of this move and the State Examinations Commission also indicated no difficulty with it. The Commission said last September that it was too late to change the results date for 2010 but they indicated that they would consider the move for this year.
“Despite this, it is disappointing to see that the Junior Cert results are still scheduled for issue on a Wednesday this year. I am now asking the Commission to outline what consideration was given to this proposal and if they have any plans to change the date at this stage. We have over three weeks now before the results are due out, so there may still be scope to make a change that could radically improve the safety of celebrations this year.
“This is a simple move that would cost nothing, but could make a huge difference to the culture of partying on Junior Cert results night. There is a widespread belief that it would be far more difficult for teenagers to access venues and purchase alcohol on a busy Friday night.
“The students who completed the Junior Cert in June deserve to celebrate their success when they receive their results next month. However, there is an onus on the State to facilitate parents and schools in ensuring these celebrations are as safe as possible.”