Sir, – Schools are a safe, controlled and supervised space for a million students in Ireland. Closing the schools would mean that 375,000 post-primary students would be meeting up with their friends unsupervised at a time when the virus is rampant in the community.
Parents who are frontline workers in both healthcare and other essential services will have to take time off to supervise their younger children at a time when thousands of HSE staff are already out because of Covid-19.
The weakest and poorest students in the community will be hit again by losing out for a second time.
There seems to be very little to gain by closing schools but a lot to lose. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I wonder how many of the men who are clamouring for schools to be closed did most of the childcare and the home schooling in the last lockdown? Most childcare in most families is done by women. In the lockdown that pattern continued, with women also doing most of the home schooling, in addition to their paid work, whether done online or outside the home. So who is going to bear the brunt of school closures? Women, again. – Yours, etc,
Prof PAT O’CONNOR,
Sociology and Social Policy,
University of Limerick.