The Government’s school reopening plan to involve “really big investment” and “extra teachers”, Leo Varadkar has revealed.
The specific details of the plan are expected to be announced tomorrow.
The Tanaiste told RTE that the Government’s plan is ready and will be going to Cabinet tomorrow.
He said: “Tomorrow we’ve a memo coming to Cabinet which sets out the plan to reopen our schools and it’s a very good plan.
“It involves a really big investment in changes to schools and school buildings.
“It involves extra teachers. It involves cleaning regimes. It involves all sorts of practices and procedures that may occur if there is a case of coronavirus in schools.
“And also special arrangements for example for teachers who have a chronic illness and mightn’t be able to return to the classroom.
“A lot of work has gone into it. There has been a lot of consultations with the unions.”
Continuing he said: “Having seen that plan. Having read it in the last couple of days, I’m confident it will go through cabinet.
“And that will allow us to open schools for all children and all students, all one million of them, before the end of August.”
When asked about teachers’ concerns, the Tanaiste replied: “Yes absolutely, they have legitimate concerns.
“And those concerns exist also in the childcare sector, also in the healthcare sector and paediatrics, also across the private sector.
“And working together we have managed to keep paediatrics going. We’ve managed to get childcare reopened. We’ve managed to reopen the vast majority of our economy.
“So I don’t see why it shouldn’t be possible for us to do the same for schools.”
He added: “Look across the entire European union where schools have been open partially or fully and there haven’t been significant numbers of clusters.
“There will be some. This is a virus that’s in the community. There can be outbreaks and clusters anywhere – mostly happening in homes by the way and in private settings, not in work places.
“But that doesn’t mean we can’t proceed safely.”
Speaking on the same programme, Sinn Fein’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty slammed the Government for their delay in producing a school reopening plan.
The Donegal Deputy said “We haven’t seen the plan. We’ve been promised by this minister and by the previous minister that we would have plans.
“We were told that there would be a plan by the 12th of June. It didn’t materialise.Tags: