Senator Eugene Murphy
Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy has stressed that a clear plan for the reopening of primary and secondary schools in September is urgently required.
The Roscommon/Galway based Senator said that he had been contacted by anxious and worried parents throughout his constituency in relation to the lack of certainty about when students will be able to return to school.
“There seems to be widespread confusion amongst parents, students, teachers and staff as to what exactly is happening in relation to a return to schools this September. Schools have been closed since early March with almost four months of schooling missed for primary schools and three months for secondary schools. It is unclear whether a full reopening of schools will take place or a partial re-opening for older students and it is impossible for parents to plan for September when everything is still very much up in the air.
“It is extremely difficult for parents to return to work or organise childcare if they don’t know what exactly they are planning for. How are schools supposed to prepare plan A, plan B and plan C for various outcomes ranging from full social distancing to one metre to none? Additional staff, financial assistance as well as clear guidance are desperately needed for schools and parents as they try to plan for September.
“The Minister for Education, my Fianna Fail colleague Norma Foley has only been in the post for a short time and I am confident that she will along with all the relevant sectors/stakeholders will come forward with a solution to ensure that students commence going back to school in September as it is vital for the economic recovery of the country,” concluded Senator Murphy.