How many times have you said to yourself, "If I were the Minister for Education…?" Well I do! Rather than grumble to myself, I decided to podcast my thoughts on ways I'd change the primary education system in Ireland. Every episode I'll take on a different theme, give some background and hopefully come to some conclusions by the end. I'll also look at some of the stories about education that are on my radar and hopefully get some conversations going.
Unsanitised: A Seed of a Plan for Reopening
The thing that has struck me most about the debate around the reopening and even the partial reopening of schools is the fact that everyone involved in the discussions, whether it’s the government, the union, or even the various advocacy groups is that all of them share the same goal to get schools open as quickly as possible by any means as if COVID19 doesn't exist. In this episode, I’m going to try and suggest a plan that takes the virus into account.
Unsanitised: A Fine Mess We've Gotten Ourselves Into
What a mess! The last few weeks have shown the worst examples of leadership from people who are supposed to look out for school staff, the pupils and their families. In this episode, I try to explore why we're in this mess and what we need to do to get out of it.
Schools Are Safe. Schools Are Safe. Schools Are Safe?
With one in 50 Irish people contracting COVID19 in the last 2 weeks alone, the tracing service unable to cope with demand and hospitals becoming overwhelmed with COVID19 cases, we need to seriously look at the facts about whether schools are safe right now and make decisions that have impacts well beyond the classroom. In this episode I try to do that.
Unsanitised: Everything I Learned about Remote Learning in the First Lockdown
This is a recording of a short talk I gave at the recent ISAG webinar on school closures, where I gave my experience about working in the system. Apart from having the complete inability to pronounce ISAG properly, I spoke about the reality of remote learning, especially for families who could not access it. I'd highly recommend watching the full webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG8cG3TpzdI
Unsanitised: The SWOT Analysis
Micheal Martin still insists that “schools are safe” and it's the movement of the million people getting to the schools that's the real issue. However, this is not the only dumbfounding thing he has said this week. Earlier when he announced schools would extend the holidays for 3 days, (not closed, remember!) he said that the 3 days could be used for principals to prepare for reopening and they would perform a SWOT analysis. Well, Micheal, here's mine.
Unsanitised: Happy New Year - what now?
Christmas - a time for giving...each other the COVID19 virus. Yes, the lifting of restrictions did not pan out as the government had hoped with cases about to hit over 2,000 per day at this time of recording, hospitals beginning to near capacity, and testing centres are now beyond capacity so now you only get tested if you have symptoms if you are a close contact. It sounds like a perfect time to reopen the schools!