The Education & Training Board Schools National Parents Association represents approximately 40% of all post primary schools in Ireland with over 36% of second level students in Ireland.
In these unprecedented times it is felt by the ETB-Schools-NPA that the voice of parents is not being heard strongly enough.
A quick survey of our parents representatives has shown that parents feel that given the levels of infections in the country that all schools should close on Wednesday with a view to reopening after the planned mid-term break.
This would take a lot of pressure off students , teachers and parents this week.
The majority of parents want schools to remain open after the midterm break.
However over 270 from all the secondary schools that is over 33% have had cases of covid19 among students. This has to be monitored and reported properly.
Better communications must be put in place between the various government departments and the schools, teachers and parents around reporting and testing of suspected cases.
Contact tracing must be done in an expedient manner to aid schools in acting in the best interests of the school community. This is essential if trust and confidence is to be maintained in the Government’s Covid19 strategy and their ability to deliver a safe environment for the whole school community.
Parents appreciate that keeping schools open in a lockdown is fraught with difficulties but for example the idea of a 4 day week as an option to ease pressure on teachers, students and parents is favoured by most parents over having reduced hours or reduced class sizes with online lessons. The ideal is that schools remain open with normal hours in a safe environment backed up by reliable and efficient actions to address cases or suspected cases of Covid19 within the school community.