August 21, 2020
Education Minister must not evade scrutiny of vital decisions – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has criticised the Education Minister for ongoing lack of scrutiny and transparency over decisions.

His comments follow the publication this evening of changes to the format of next year’s Leaving and Junior Certificate exams and coursework.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said: “The Department has yet again decided that Friday evening is the best time to publish documents. This is deeply frustrating and I am concerned that this is not a constructive way for such important changes to be communicated.

“I am seeking a cross-party meeting with the Education Minister as a matter of urgency.

“I welcome steps to mitigate the loss of teaching time due to the pandemic and increased choice must be a core part of this. However, the changes will require scrutiny.

“Many important questions about the reopening of schools are still unanswered. I am disappointed that the Department had not used their communications this evening as an opportunity to clarify these outstanding and deeply concerning issues.

“Chief among these is the uncertainty around children who are at high risk. There is still no clarity on how their education will continue. Similarly, parents and guardians who are at risk themselves also need answers.

“We also need to know whether parents and guardians looking after a schoolchild who is self-isolating will be entitled to paid leave from work.“I am once again reiterating my call for the Minister to answer these vital questions and give parents, children and teachers the answers they deserve.”

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