Deputy Danny Healy Rae’s Education and Skills Joust with Minister McHugh

Deputy Danny Healy Rae had a satchel of school related questions for Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD and he mentioned Gneeveguilla in Dáil Éireann.

Deputy Danny Healy Rae sent a report on an engagement between himself and Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD.

Deputy Healy Rae opened the engagement by thanking the Minister for being engaged and responding as best he can to every query and for how he seems to be on top of everything.

“For my part, I emphasise that schools need to know as soon as possible what the picture will look like at the beginning or September or in late August,” said Deputy Danny now getting into his stride.

One Metre or Two?

“There is going to be a massive difference. Are we going to reduce the rule to one metre as opposed to the two metres we have at present?

“We need to know what it is going to look like because people are worrying that if it is still two metre distancing, all classes will not be entertained in school on the one day like they used to be and

that needs to be clarified.

Teach Fáilte in Gneeveguilla

“The Minister might not be able to say whether the one or two metre rule will apply, but surely he should be able to say what it will look like this with the two metre rule and like that with a one metre rule.

“We need to know, as do teachers, schools and management because they will need more room. Room is available in community halls in places like Gneevgullia, where there is a local community group that has a lovely hall.

How Many Per Bus?

“It is called a teach fáilte and is only a step away from the school, which is already overcrowded. “We need time to interact and to see how those matters can be resolved.

“Regarding school buses, we need to know how many children will be allowed to sit in a 30-seat bus and what the story will be.

“Surely someone somewhere will be able to define how many each type and size of bus – large, medium or small – can take. We need to know those kinds of things, as does Bus Éireann. We need to get out there and let the private contractors and Bus Éireann know. That has to be known, sooner rather than later.

Children With Down Syndrome

“I thank the Minister for his work on special needs education. We asked him to include children with Down syndrome and I hope they will be afforded the July provision as well and that it will be one to one rather than online or anything like that because that is not sufficient.

“Parents of special needs children have had a really tough time for the past three months.

“Some have two children, which is double the effect.

Social Development Compromised

“We need to know what is going to happen because if children have to stay at home for days their social development will be compromised.

“It has already been compromised by the fact that they have not met each other in schools for the past three months.

“I appeal to the Minister to do what he can to open up the schools and let people know what the picture is going to be like.

“The Minister can respond in writing if he cannot answer all my questions now. I thank him,” Deputy Healy Rae concluded.