Calls for support as schools return in Northern Ireland in central Omicron


P3 teacher Jessica Cargill with her class at Belfast Springfield Primary School

The principal of North Belfast Primary School said we must be “proactive rather than reactive” before returning to school this week across Northern Ireland.

Kevin Makariff, principal of Holy Cross Boys Elementary School in the Ardennes, explained how to set up government advice for 25% of employees not to return due to a break. It has lost 15 employees since Christmas.

Speaking on Belfast Live, Kevin said: ‘Christmas is a time when families come together and I know this idea of ​​three families is hard for many to implement – some people have left Christmas because of an unprotected family or an old woman and I. We fully appreciate and understand it.

“I know the transport speed is at the highest level and we just arrived two nights ago as everyone was celebrating New Years, so it is very unlikely that we will go back to school because the government has asked us to calculate what 25 percent of our staff may not come back.

Kevin Makarev Principal of Holy Cross Primary Boys’ School, Ardwin

“25% of the staff is made up of 15 employees that I have to host and I have to fill the positions. There is also a shortage of substitute teachers, even before Christmas.”

Kevin worries about what the increased presence of the Omicron variant means not only to his employees and students, but also to their families and the most clinically vulnerable members of the community.

“They say Micron is a softer option than Delta, but where it can be softer for you and me, we really need to protect the older, more vulnerable generations.

“I know that when we get kids back to school, it’s a safe environment where they can learn face-to-face, build social relationships and build those positive relationships. An anxious, anxious and stressed community for this meeting after a period of relaxation.

“As managers, we must first and foremost take care of the health and well-being of our employees, because without them the school will not function and when we bring our children back, we will have them as we did from the beginning. There is adequate risk mitigation,” he explained.

Holy Cross continues to follow basic Covid instructions, such as keeping doors open during windows and classrooms, requiring parents to wear masks while on the floor, sterilizing children when they enter school, and continuing to work on the blisters system. to reduce risks. from hanging.

Kevin continued, “I thought we’d get out of that and it’s kind of intimidating for all the managers and all the leaders that go on for another year, and in the end, our main focus as directors is raising standards and accomplishments and you. It can’t be done if there are no kids and no employees.”

“This is a worrying time for all of us: we are all trying to make it safe at this unprecedented time.”

“We all have a role to play, and if we all act responsibly, we can beat the transmission of this virus,” he added.

“Who knows what tomorrow will bring? We plan today for tomorrow and are proactive rather than reactive and clearly positive.”

NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union is also calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to take urgent action to reduce the potential risks of delays in higher education. Dr. Patrick Roach, NASUWT Secretary General, said, “Teachers have been at the forefront of the pandemic to support pupils and students and provide them with the best education possible. However, with the increasing number of cases of the Omicron variant causing significant delays in the next academic session, many teachers will be forced to isolate themselves.” “The executive must take additional steps immediately to ensure that schools continue to operate safely and to provide high-quality education.

Justin McKimville, National Representative for Northern Ireland at NASUWT

Justin McKimville, National Officer at NASUWT Northern Ireland added: “Teachers, pupils, students and parents will be concerned about the potential risks of more schools being cut off due to the Omicron option.

“The Northern Ireland Executive must do everything in its power to ensure that schools do not have significant problems with recruitment and that the education of children and young people is not affected.

“The decision taken in September to redefine close contact with the school was so narrow that there was no close contact between children. The executive must ensure that schools are under the same protections as the general public.”

Source: Belfastlive


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