Reopening schools


Sir, – The 11th of the Department of Education’s 24 Junior Cycle “statements of learning” imagines a student who “takes action to safeguard and promote his/her wellbeing and that of others”.

Under statement 18, a Junior Cycle candidate “observes and evaluates empirical events and processes and draws valid deductions and conclusions”.

Book-ending the list, the first and last statements both underline the importance of communicating “effectively” and “collaboratively” in a “responsible and ethical manner”.

For the sake of safeguarding everyone’s wellbeing, the Department of Education would do well to take some of its own advice.

The deductions and conclusions drawn from empirical evidence have been questionable.

Collaborative, responsible communication is nowhere to be seen. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 6.

Sir, – With regard to schools and all students returning to in-person education, Minister for Education Norma Foley has been criticised for making unhelpful public statements on this issue. The Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan has apologised twice in the Dáil for inappropriate statements.

Most recently, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar have both made statements on national radio on this issue.

Is it any wonder that all in education are increasingly exasperated by the constant drip in the media of nuggets of information? Is it too much to expect some leadership and that all of the politicians above would remain quiet until such time as there is agreement and a workable plan as to the way forward? Then they are entitled to schedule a press conference and all of them can take credit for reopening schools. – Yours, etc,