The general secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) has claimed that schools have been abandoned by public health.
John Boyle told Newstalk Breakfast that 605 primary school teachers had tested positive for Covid-19 over the past two weeks which was leading to a shortage of teachers and meant that children were missing school.
“We are looking for solutions, but they have to come from the Department of Education and public health who have abandoned schools.”
Mr Boyle called for more focus on ventilation in classrooms, more C02 monitors and filtration systems. Intervention was necessary so schools could remain open he said.
There were more children at home now because of Covid-19, he added, 9,000 had tested positive which meant there were probably 13,000 to 14,000 more who were asymptomatic.
When asked about children wearing masks, Mr Boyle pointed out that they were mandatory for primary school children in France and Italy, and he thought that with a little more encouragement children would wear masks.
We would ask them to look at mask wearing.
Hiqa had indicated in August that it would look at mask wearing for children in primary schools, he said, that report was to have been completed in six to eight weeks, but it was now 11 weeks.
“We would ask them to look at mask wearing.”
“I’m not saying that the figures (in schools) are out of sync, but to say there are only 12 outbreaks there (in schools) is not true, it is not being reported.
“They can’t know because they haven’t been doing any checking.”
Mr Boyle said he knew of 12 outbreaks in the Dublin area alone.
The INTO survey indicated that Covid cases in schools were high in Waterford and low in Kerry as was the case among the general population.