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Indications that schools may reopen on March 1; discussions are progressing

DUBLIN: There are signs that the schools may be reopened on 1 March, but discussions are still ongoing between the education department and the various teachers unions. It is known that the final decision has not been made. However, it is learned that the education department has decided to resume classes from the beginning of March. Meanwhile, there were reports of confusion and annoyance among cabinet ministers.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Education is meeting today. It is hoped that the Minister of Education will be able to announce the exact plans for the Leaving Certificate Course before the Committee. But there is no guarantee in this regard.

Ministers were unaware of plans to reopen schools on March 1. Some ministers expressed dissatisfaction with the news of an important decision without the knowledge of the cabinet.

The ministers had inquired with Education Minister Norma Foley about the reopening of the school, but did not announce a clear decision.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin also ruled out the possibility. The Taoiseach could not give a clear answer about the opening of the school.

“Nothing of what was reported to have happened occurred. We did not discuss it, there was no plan. We were all a bit shocked and we looked up from our phones, when people began to ask questions,” said one minister.

Newspapers said that the education department plans to reopen schools on a phased basis from March 1. Leaving Cert students and those with additional needs will return in the first phase. It is learned that students can opt for written exams or calculated grades in the Leaving Certificate exams.

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