Norma Foley addresses concerns over schools staying closed in January 1 month ago

Norma Foley addresses concerns over schools staying closed in January

The TD said that keeping schools open is a "priority" for Government.

Ireland's Minister for Education Norma Foley has addressed concerns from parents that schools will stay closed after the Christmas holidays in January.

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The Fianna Fail TD said that ensuring schools can stay open is a "singular priority", but refused to rule out future closures.

Speaking on the issue on Newstalk Breakfast, Minister Foley said: "I think there has been a singular priority by government and indeed I would say by wider society that schools should operate and should be open and that our children are best served when they are in school.

She continued: "But not withstanding that, we are also aware that we are in a particular moment in time in terms of Covid.

"And society has been asked to comply and make a particular effort to reduce socialisation, to be particularly conscious of our activity in this time of Covid.

"If we do that, and when we do that, then pressure comes off wider society and all aspects of society including schools."

The Minister said that there is no "crystal ball" she can look into to determine if schools will open in January, but urged the public to comply with the latest measures and guidance.

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She said: "There is no crystal ball in terms of Covid and what happens in the future, but the message is very clear, if we continue to reduce our socialisation, if we continue to abide by the measures we are asked to abide by from a public health point of view, we will be able to continue to operate in society."

Foley also commented on the Government's decision to mandate mask wearing for primary school students in third class and above.

She told listeners: "There is absolute clarity that there is a requirement and a recommendation from public health that for the benefit and protection of children, that those from third class up would wear the masks.

"Students who do not comply, and do not have a medical basis, will be asked to stand down from school."

Feature Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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