Reopening schools will be a huge task

Sir, – A letter writer (Letters, May 12th) asks why schools cannot adapt the same “procedures and habits” as supermarkets, weddings and hospitals to ensure that they can hold the Leaving Cert exams during the summer and indeed safely open in September.

The reason why schools cannot have the same social distancing practices as the rest of society is simple – teenagers! We don’t allow them to choose our leaders, drive a car without supervision or run a pub for good reasons. It’s why your average school has such a hefty code of conduct.

If secondary (and primary) schools have any hope of a partial reopening in September (yes, partial) then everybody will have to get used to a new norm – the way we currently run and fund schools is not compatible with halting a pandemic. There will have to be far fewer students on school premises at any one time (where do we put the “other” students?). Classes will have to be significantly smaller (where will the extra teachers come from?). Cleaning of schools will have to be revolutionised and almost certainly personal protective equipment will have to be supplied (where will that come from and who will pay for it?).

Many people have no comprehension of the serious obstacles facing the reopening of schools in September. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 15.