Schools still facing significant obstacles to remaining open


Thursday 19 November 2020

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Schools still facing significant obstacles to remaining open

An extreme weather spell in the coming months could prove very challenging for many schools, ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie told an Oireachtas Education Committee meeting on school safety this morning (Thursday, November 19th).

Mr Christie said the lack of proper ventilation facilities in many second-level schools means that windows must remain open and students and teachers are wearing coats in the classroom:

He added that extreme cold weather could result in school closures.
The ASTI commissioned research on school principals’ views on the safe re-opening of schools in July this year. A significant majority (84%) of principals said their school did not have a dedicated ventilation system.

“We want schools to remain open,” Mr Christie told the Oireachtas Committee.

The ASTI is pursuing a number of other key issues regarding schools and Covid 19 including:

• The need for a comprehensive testing programme for schools,
• Rapid testing and turnaround times;
• Appropriate accommodations for teachers with health conditions in the “high risk category”;
• The provision of IT resources for students and teachers to facilitate continuity of learning.

Click here to view the ASTI’s submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.



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