Coalition of Confusion doing damage to Parents and Teachers Confidence
Speaking on the government’s diktat of masks for children in schools from age 9 upwards, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has criticised the Government decision saying that it was made without parent consultation, without any provision of evidence and without providing for simple things such as providing for children who need glasses to learn.
An Teachta Tóibín: “This government is swiftly eroding public confidence, as it rejects common sense forensic measures which will allow us to live with Covid-19, in favour of divisive measures with no parental or opposition input. The latest government ill thought out initiative is to instruct teachers to denying education to 9 year old children if they are not wearing a mask. This is a seriously significant step to take and should have been preceded by real consultation with parents”.
“After the government’s announcement, the Minister came out to say that parents could simply get a medical certificate to exempt their child from having to wear a mask if they have a condition (including wearing glasses). People can’t get appointments with their GPs at the moment its so busy. Many people cant even get registered with a GP, but now the Minister for Education gave less than 18 hours’ notice to thousands of parents to get a medical cert for their child from a doctor”.
“This follows on of course from the advice to children not to attend pantomimes while allowing pantomimes to continue, and the attempted exclusion of unvaccinated children from sports. Every child on this island has a right to an education, the government’s continued mismanagement of Covid in schools is undermining that right being fulfilled. The Children’s Ombudsman stated that the children have had a very difficult and stressful 2 years. PQs issue to me stated that 70,000 children were referred to Tusla last year, more than sat the Leaving cert. This is a higher number than ever before.”
“This Government is rapidly making a name for itself as the Confusion Coalition. Yesterday the Taoiseach said that Covid figures are going through the roof. On the same day the Minister for Health said that Covid figures are falling for all age groups. We were told that €9 meals were safer than €8 meals. Minister O'Brien said that a PCR test taken prior to an outbound journey could suffice for the return if the trip is less than 72 hours. So you can get a test here go to South Africa for the weekend, and return on the same test. The government has set its mind against antigen testing be used to enter hospitality but has now introduce it as a choice to enter Ireland. No one is saying that governance at this time is easy but this confusion is eroding confidence significantly”.
“The government needs to start listening to parents. Parents are losing sleep over the disruption to their children’s education by Covid-19. This move will only serve to further detriment our children. Mask mandates for 9 year olds, is no substitute for priority PCR tests, subsidised antigen testing, proper air filtration, the reinstatement of contract tracing, and recruitment of ample cover staff. This government consistently chooses the bluntest tool in the fight against Covid, instead of targeted measures which mitigate the impact of Covid-19 upon our daily lives.”