School closure extended until 19th April & “contingency plans” are in progress for the Leaving Cert

The Taoiseach has announced that schools, colleges and childcare facilities will remain closed until the 19th of April. Leo Varadkar announced on Thursday 12 March that all schools, colleges and childcare facilities would close in response to Covid-19.

Varadkar said the Government is hopeful that schools may be able to reopen in May and June.

Mr Varadkar also said: “there is a very good chance” that the Leaving Certificate exams will go ahead and for that reason he would encourage students to continue studying for them and that Minister for Education Joe McHugh was working on “contingency plans” to allow the Leaving Certificate to go ahead.

While Varadkar didn’t provide any detail on the plans for exams, he acknowledged that the plans covered the Junior Cycle but “obviously the Leaving Cert is more important”.

“We’ll do everything possible and feasible that we can to let the Leaving Cert go ahead so that young people can start college as normal in September or October if that’s possible,” Varadkar said. 

So far, there are over 1,000 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland and there have been 6 deaths of patients diagnosed with the virus.

Luke O'Farrell

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