People Before Profit reiterate call for schools to shut for January
Childcare provisions urgently needed for frontline workers
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith will attend the Education briefing today on behalf of People Before Profit. The TD will reiterate People Before Profit’s call for the Government to change its policy on schools reopening.
Bríd Smith TD said: “The current spike in infections makes the suggested reopening next week a physical impossibility and a dangerous illusion”.
She will also call on the government to make provisions for families with underlying health conditions.
The party have pointed to the abject failure of the government to provide any coherent childcare supports for front line workers, especially nurses and hospital staff, or to have any plans for disadvantaged and special needs children in the event of a prolonged school closure.
Deputy Smith continued: “It is quiet shocking that nine months into this pandemic the state has failed abysmally to provide any emergency infrastructure to cater for the childcare needs of front-line workers. It is equally shocking that the stock mantra from ministers that schools are safe is still repeated in the face of accumulating international medical evidence that question that and in light of the fact that we have never traced or defined close contacts adequately in our schools to get a full understanding of how the virus is actually circulating in our schools”.
The TD said that while the initial scheme to provide care for the children of front line workers had collapsed before it started, the continued failure to build any alternative was breathtaking as was Minister O’Gorman’s “confused statements about who should be prioritised in accessing creche facilities”.