Fintan O’Toole: Lack of preparation for reopening schools is terrifying

With just five weeks to go, the Department of Education has no ‘clear picture’ of what is needed

Minister for Education Norma Foley: There is still no roadmap for reopening schools.   Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Minister for Education Norma Foley: There is still no roadmap for reopening schools. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

One of the advantages Ireland has in dealing with the pandemic is the ability to see into the future. What is happening in Asia now will happen to us in August or September. And one of the things that is happening there has huge implications for what we will be doing in those months: reopening schools.

Public health policy here has assumed that children don’t spread the virus much. But in South Korea, one of the countries that has dealt best with the crisis, evidence has emerged that, while children under 10 were half as likely as adults were to spread Covid-19, children over 10 are “even more likely to infect others than adults were”. 

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