AS THE debate over when and how our schools will reopen continues, parents across Fermanagh are struggling to ensure their children don’t miss out on their education.
However, while schools have supplied parents with plenty of resources to keep their children up to date with the ‘academic’ side of their education, there is another vital aspect of a child’s development many local parents are worried they are missing – socialisation.
This is a particular issue for children without siblings, as they have no one else their own age to interact with. Local Cllr Paul Blake, who as a classroom assistant knows well the importance of social interaction for children and young people, said parents have a crucial role to play.
“I think one of the biggest things that we’re starting to see now during this whole pandemic is more and more parents are now playing with their kids at home,” he said. “Structured playing is such a vital part of a young person’s development, when they are growing up and becoming sociable and things that they do have this experience.”
As for when the schools should reopen, Cllr Blake said he believed since the UK government had been slow to close them in the first place, the public would be sceptical about any moves to reopen them too soon. He believes that there should be a significant drop in the number of Covid-19 deaths before it is even considered.
Stating we should be doing all we can to avoid a second wave of infections, he added: “It would have to be at a certain time. I do believe reopening schools will be a very important part of the strategy. The timing of it is crucial.
“We have to very careful where we’re opening then and when. I believe it should be further down the line, when we know where we stand in terms of the number of cases.”
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