Responding to the news that the Government will abandon plans for Leaving Certificate students to return to schools for three days a week next week, Social Democrats spokesperson for Education, Gary Gannon TD said:

“The decision of the Minister of Education and the Department to reopen schools for three days a week for sixth year students without proper consultation and communication with stakeholders shows a clear arrogance and was destined to fail. It is good that the voices of students, particularly vulnerable students, and teachers were heard and a u-turn performed.”

“At a time when wellbeing and health needs to be the priority, the decision to have 61,000 students enter school buildings three times a week was taken not in the interests of wellbeing but rather a fatalistic obsession with the Leaving Certificate examinations. The decision also ignored the implications and risks for schools’ staff”.

Gannon also stated that the priority now must be on ensuring learning can take place remotely for all students.

“The digital divide still exists and is preventing many students from all year groups being able to continue with their education while school buildings are closed. The priority must be getting devices and broadband into their hands and homes.”


7th January 2021

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