With schools to remain closed until the end of January, Social Democrats spokesperson for Education, Gary Gannon TD, has called on the Government to develop a national strategy to support remote learning for teachers and students.

Deputy Gannon stated:

“It had become increasingly clear that schools would not be able to reopen next week and the anticipated decision by Cabinet tomorrow will at least provide some certainty.

“However, the Government needs to now concentrate on how best to serve the educational needs of our young people during Covid-19.

“As we found out during the first lockdown last March, remote learning is not a one size fits all solution, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds or those with special needs. There are a whole range of issues that need to be addressed, including lack of access to computers, poor broadband coverage and insufficient space for children to study at home.

“No two schools are identical. They work in different communities, serving students with different levels of needs, varying infrastructure and different access to digital tools and equipment. Remote learning and blended learning options cannot be ad hoc, which is why I have called on the Government to come up with a credible national strategy for continuing with education during the pandemic.”

January 5, 2021

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