Sinn Féin education spokesperson Pat Sheehan has urged the Education Minister to exercise caution when making a decision on school reopenings.
The West Belfast MLA said:
‘We should know by now that this virus doesn’t work to dates on a calendar, therefore neither should we when dealing with it.
‘Schools should only open on the 8th of March if it is safe to do so but the evidence is suggesting that a full return to face-to-face learning could cause the R rate to increase by between 0.3% and 0.6%.
‘Re-opening schools in this context only risks having to close them down again at a later date.
‘School is the best place for our children and young people to have their social, educational and developmental needs met and a full resumption of classroom learning is a priority for Sinn Féin.
‘However, this should only happen when the scientific and medical advice determines it is safe to do so.
‘In the meantime, it’s crucial the minister uses this period of remote learning to do all that he can to make our schools as safe as possible in advance of a decision to reopen.”