Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts and Heritage Niamh Smyth TD has appealed to third level institutions to allow students in practical programmes to retrieve projects and models in order to submit course work at the end of this academic year.

Deputy Smyth explained, “Many students undertaking courses in practical programmes such as Art and Design, Architecture, Graphic Design, Woodwork and Metalwork to name but a few are to submit models and projects at the end of the academic year. These culminate in their final grading. It is imperative they have access to this work.

“There is a growing concern from students as much of this work is stored on campus and inaccessible. I am appealing to third level institutions to allow students to collect their work as they complete projects ahead of their deadlines or to provide another route of access to their works.

“This can be done under strict social distancing guidelines. A system were students come in at an agreed time and not congregate should be implemented. I have no doubt students and tutors would facilitate this while adhering to the public health guidelines. Another solution could see tutors return to document the projects and send photographs of the same to their students.

“Remote learning has continued on third level courses but for many programmes this has limitations. Practical, hands-on projects are due to be completed. While this could be done remotely, students need to retrieve the work they had started in order to complete them at home. I am appealing to third level institutions to facilitate this once-off access. Under the current scenario students are not being given a full opportunity to complete their course work and this is entirely unfair,” concluded Deputy Smyth.