Donegal teachers worried about return to school next Monday

"Members are very concerned about whether it is safe to go back to class"

Donegal teachers worried about return to school next Monday

Aine McGinley of the INTO

Donegal teachers are very worried about any proposal to return to school next Monday.

That was the message today (Monday) from the Central Executive Committee representative for Donegal and Leitrim members of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), Aine McGinley.

She revealed the INTO national executive would be meeting tomorrow, (Tuesday) and the whole question of reopening schools would be first on the agenda.

"A lot of members have contacted me and are very concerned about whether it is safe to go back to class. It's not ideal to be online but at the same time peoples' safety has to come first.

"We as teachers are not allowed to go visit our neighbours, even in the garden, yet we can sit in a class of up to 30 children for up to six hours at a time which is crazy and teachers are very worried about it."

She added if they were going to teach online from next Monday, January 11, they needed time to prepare for that.

"I will be raising the concerns the members have raised with me. I understand the Cabinet is meeting on Wednesday and NPHET on Thursday.

"The INTO has said the up to date public health advice will inform any decision so we will wait and see what comes out and hopefully common sense prevails," she said.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One earlier today the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, said they have not received recommendations from medical experts in infectious diseases or public health to close schools.

This is a big call, he said, and while he understands people want clarity, the experts must be allowed the time they need to examine the latest evidence.

Mr Donnelly added they wanted to strike a balance between giving schools, parents and students as much time as possible, as well as ensuring they are making the decision with the most up to date information available.

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