The Government will make “every single effort” to ensure schools reopen on Thursday, the Justice Minister says.
Teaching unions are due to meet with the Education Minister this afternoon to discuss the reopening, amid concerns about staff shortages due to COVID-19.
The ASTI has called for a "delayed and staggered" reopening of schools due to the impact of the Omicron wave, while the TUI says a “one size fits all” approach won’t work as different schools will be in different situations.
Fórsa, meanwhile, says it’s “clear that not every school will be able to fully open”, and have called for improved health and safety measures to be in place before schools open.
Minister Helen McEntee says the best thing for students is a return to school as planned.
Speaking to LMFM, she said: “We saw only yesterday a report produced by the Child Rapporteur, outlining how damaging it is for our children to be out of schools.
“In order for children to be allowed to realise their full potential, they need to be in school. We take away from that every single day they’re not in school.”
She said it’s not just the education itself, but also children’s social development.
Minister McEntee said there’ll be continued engagement with unions and public health this week, while officials will also look at contingency plans.