Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has responded to reports that the Department of Education may extend school closures over the mid-term break.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“First of all – kite-flying via the media is not the way to communicate this.
“This idea may be worth considering, however, it should be discussed directly with the education partners, if there is a specific proposal.
“We need clarification, if this might be a two weeks break for schools, or a week’s break followed by a week’s remote learning, or whatever is being considered.
“Crucially, parents will need reassurance that this is a temporary measure and that this won’t lead to an extended closure of schools.
“This underlines further the need for measures to protect the incomes and jobs of parents, such as through the expansion of emergency leave as Sinn Féin have suggested.
“The Department needs to sit down with the education partners and put an actual proposal on the table, rather than just throwing this out there and seeing what way the wind blows.
“Budget 2021 needs to see significant investment in making our schools safer, creating significant additional space and recruiting more teachers to ensure real social distancing, and we need to see much quicker testing and tracing for schools.”