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Minister for Education continues to ignore high risk students and families – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

3 March, 2021 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has expressed his concern that the Minister for Education continues to ignore the needs of high risk families to be facilitated with remote learning so that they do not miss out, particularly students in exam years.
Speaking after addressing this issue with the Minister in the Dáil today, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said
“The phased reopening of schools is very welcomed, but the Minister must acknowledge that many families will not be in a position to send their kids back, as a member of their family has a medical vulnerability and the risks are just too high.
“These families continue to be ignored by the Government.
“Today in the Dáil, I asked the Minister whether children with a medically vulnerable family member at home would be facilitated with remote learning.
“This is particularly important for 6th year students who are themselves medically vulnerable or someone in their family is.
“6th year students in high risk families still deserve a choice in their Leaving Cert. They should not be disadvantaged because they or someone in their family are vulnerable.
“When asked if she would facilitate remote learning for these students, Minister Foley replied saying she would not as school is the best place for students to learn.
“This completely misses the point. I am sure these students would love to be going back to the classrooms, but they simply can’t take the risk of potentially bringing Covid home and making a vulnerable family member seriously unwell.
“The Minister must recognise the reality, that for these families it is not a choice to remain home, it is a necessity. Vulnerable families must be facilitated with remote learning, they cannot keep being forgotten again and again.”

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