Gary Gannon TD, the Social Democrats spokesperson on Education, has called on the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, to urgently address the Dáil and provide details of the Government’s plans for reopening schools in five weeks’ time
Deputy Gannon said:
“Yesterday I attended a meeting between Minister Foley and Opposition spokespeople for Education. Following the meeting, a press statement was released by her department stating we were briefed on multiple aspects relating to calculated grades and the reopening of schools.
“With utmost respect to the Minister, nothing of the sort took place. With an extremely short time until schools are due to reopen and the Dáil recess approaching next week, it is urgent that the Minister comes in to provide clarity on schools reopening. Critically, this should include confirmation of a funding package.
“I can’t ignore that the Minister for Further and Higher Education today announced a funding package of €168 million to support tertiary education. Numerous other sectors have also welcomed additional funding, including the arts and the business sector. While very welcome, our primary and secondary schools continue to wait. Almost one million students, as well as their parents, educators and non- teaching staff, are waiting for details of any such support.”
Deputy Gannon added: “I was shocked but not surprised to see the results of a survey released yesterday by Voice for Teachers, showing that 93.5% of 6,073 teachers surveyed felt that preparations from the Department of Education for reopening of schools have not been good enough. We cannot wait – it’s imperative that Minister Foley comes in as soon as possible with details of much needed supports for schools to enable them to reopen safely and with confidence.”
July 22, 2020