Government must fund broadcast of educational content during school closures

Senator Marie Sherlock
05 January 2021
  • January must not be lost month for many school pupils

  • Government needs to allocate serious resources to broadcast educational content.

  • BBC producing content next week – RTÉ and others have critical role to play.

With the prospect of school pupils out of the physical classroom for the month of January, Labour spokesperson for Media Affairs, Senator Marie Sherlock said it is now vital that Government deploy serious resources towards education delivery through RTÉ and other broadcasting mediums.

Her call follows the announcement by the BBC tonight of a substantial roll out of content to cover both primary and secondary education from next Monday across two stations.

Senator Sherlock said:

“The Government and RTÉ need to look at a major ramping up of educational content across multiple RTÉ channels and platforms, if schools are closed for the month of January. This must be adequately resourced and Ministers must ensure sufficient investment is made.

Importantly, we simply cannot allow a repeat of the situation last Spring where discussions between the Department and RTÉ about leaving cert content delivery collapsed because of lack of resources forthcoming from Government.

“For the period of the next four weeks, the Government must deploy as much resources as possible to ensuring that this is not a lost month for many pupils and that those already struggling are not further disadvantaged.

“This must encompass the continuation of school meals, the choice for in-school tuition for Leaving cert students, additional supports for those who need special needs education, ensuring that teachers are afforded access to childcare for their own families plus the extensive roll out of educational broadcast content.

“We know from last year’s lockdown of the very worrying regressive impact on many school pupils, in particular those with additional education needs, those from disadvantaged backgrounds living in cramped conditions and with insufficient access to highspeed broadband and appropriate devices.”

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