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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020
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Here's what the planned closure of schools will mean for teachers and students

The government has ordered all schools, colleges and childcare facilities to close until 29 March.

Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND childcare facilities around the country will close from tomorrow until 29 March in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The significant development comes as confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland now stands at 43. One person has died from the virus here so far.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh said he is “deeply conscious” of the impact that the closures will have but said it a “necessary and proportionate measure”. 

The Department has issued a number of guidelines for students and schools to follow over the coming weeks as Ireland moves into the ‘delay phase’. 

      Students

  • Pupils should take their books and learning materials home with them this evening
  • All pupils and students are urged to practice social distancing and to minimise physical contact with each other
  • This includes minimising social contact, avoiding meeting up and keeping physical space between them
  • Parents and guardians are urged to support their children to maintain this approach.

       Schools/Colleges 

  • In order to minimise the impact on teaching and learning, all schools will be asked to continue to plan lessons and, where possible, provide online resources for students or online lessons where schools are equipped to do so
  • Schools are asked to be conscious of students that may not have access to online facilities and to consider this in their response
  • Schools have been asked to prioritise supporting exam classes to continue to prepare for State examinations.
  • For universities and higher education facilities, physical classes will not be held during the closure.
  • Institutions can make other arrangements for teaching and learning and other activities in line with their business continuity plans and contingency planning.

The Department of Education and Skills will remain open and says it will continue to provide supports to the education sector. 

At today’s press briefing Minister Joe McHugh said the State Examinations Commission will meet to discuss contingency plans for those due to sit their Junior and Leaving Cert exams this year. 

Director of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation General Secretary John Boyle said he knows teachers will all “rise to the challenge we face, in the proudest tradition of our profession, as we grapple with this unprecedented public health crisis”. 

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Adam Daly

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