Should Waterford schools close as the coronavirus outbreak escalates in Ireland?
From greeting visitors to conducting parent teacher meetings, the etiquette has changed. Hands are no longer shaken, and hand washing procedures are strictly in effect.
However, one prominent question lingers: what happens if schools close?
Tech savvy schools that have previously implemented online communications systems for both teaching and learning will be able to supply students with sufficient resources.
However, rural areas with depleting infrastructure, slow broadband and therefore limited access to online computing platforms, may struggle to supply their students with adequate resources.
Although schools may close as a precautionary measure, to avoid risk to student and wider public health. Despite this, the uncertainty around school closures is a growing concern for junior and leaving cert students, who are scheduled to take examinations in the coming months.
As principles toy with this outcome and put contingencies in place, The Department of Education has stated that schools should only close upon receiving specific and individualised guidance on the issue and with the direction of public health officials and the HSE. The department continue to issue schools with guidelines and information posters on how to accurately sanitise and protect against the spread of the virus.
Two schools in Northern Ireland have closed due to the virus, with a school in Dublin re-opening after being temporarily closed.
Similarly, colleges across Ireland are battling with the idea of closing their doors. Trinity College Dublin has closed a section of their city centre campus as a confirmed coronavirus case has been linked with the college.