Urgent Need For Road Map On Schools ReopeningAontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has said that there is an urgent need for a roadmap for the return of children to schools, and for steps to be taken to protect teachers in their place of work.
An Teachta Tóibín:
“The continued closure of schools has had an enormous toll on students, parents, and teachers alike. It is in may ways the largest unquantifiable impact of Covid. It is a wholescale emergency and it needs to be dealt with urgently”.
“Leaving cert students have been in perpetual uncertainty all year, feeling powerless to influence the situation. Children with special needs have been denied social contact and their education which has in turn led to their regression. Parents have been trying to home school their children and balance their work demands. Most parents will admit that they are not qualified or cut out to Home School. Children’s development is being stunted and the mental health of parents and children is being hammered”.
“Teachers are fearful of being rushed back to school without the necessary safeguards – putting their loved ones at risk. The government needs to step up now and prove that their protection will be implemented.”
“This needs to be treated with the urgency it deserves. We knew this could be an issue in the first wave of the pandemic. We began asking the Department of Education last year to put contingencies in place if the 2020/2021 academic year was disrupted by Covid-19. We asked for contingencies to be put in place for then fifth years who would enter their final year plagued with uncertainty. We highlighted the early warning signs of regression in children with additional needs present in the Childcare sector. The reactionary and indecisive approach of the government since September indicates these warnings fell on deaf ears.”