Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has challenged the Minister for Education to provide a clear plan to reopen schools safely. He has said that time is running out to provide much needed clarity.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“We are now just four weeks out from the traditional date of schools reopening, yet no plan to reopen the schools has materialised – despite repeated promises of a roadmap.
“The reality is that parents are very worried. As is the norm at this time of year, they are beginning to buy uniforms and school bags, being asked to buy books and being contacted by Bus Éireann to pay for school transport.
“Many of the parents I’m speaking to don’t have the confidence that a full and safe return to school is going to be delivered. We need to reassure them now- not next week or the week after.
“Some of this is complex, but there are a number of things that are actually quite straightforward.
“We know more teachers will be needed. That is a process that takes time. We know there will be investment needed, more space and more resources for cleaning and additional hygiene measures. We know children will need to get buses and we know that there are other children with additional needs that will need to be catered for.
“We also need the Minister to tell us if all children will be returning to school from the end of August on a five-day week basis. We need to know how many extra teachers are being hired and when this recruitment will happen? Parents need and deserve answers.”