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Big Read: Harsh lessons: the pitfalls ahead as home-schooling returns

Closures threaten to bring educational inequalities to the fore, while Leaving Cert teachers and students feel exposed, writes John Meagher

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Exception: Minister for Education Norma Foley as she announced that Leaving Cert students would be returning to class for three days a week

Exception: Minister for Education Norma Foley as she announced that Leaving Cert students would be returning to class for three days a week

Exception: Minister for Education Norma Foley as she announced that Leaving Cert students would be returning to class for three days a week

Philip Kennedy could not quite believe what he was hearing. It was Wednesday and Education Minister Norma Foley was announcing that Leaving Cert students would be partially exempt from the remote schooling that has been put in place for every other pupil until February 1 at the earliest.

Instead, sixth years would return to class on Monday for three days a week, every week. For Kennedy, an English and geography teacher and assistant principal at Coláiste Bríde, a girls’ secondary school in Clondalkin, Dublin, Foley’s assertion that those students could return safely was “lunacy”.


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