Return to fully in-person teaching disadvantages disabled students says Hoey

Senator Annie Hoey image
22 April 2022

Labour Higher Education spokesperson, Annie Hoey, has today (Friday, 22nd April) demanded that the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris steps up and guarantees that remote learning options become a permanent feature of our education system.

The call comes following news that colleges are actively emailing students to confirm that for the next academic year they will return to fully in-person teaching.

Senator Hoey said:

“The benefits experienced by disabled students, parents and carers in accessing education remotely must be made a permanent feature of our education system into the future. A blanket return to fully in-person teaching, without any option for lectures to be recorded or accessed remotely, majorly disadvantages disabled people. We cannot allow that.

“We believe that the gains made in terms of access to education cannot be allowed to fall by the wayside as students return to the lecture hall. The pivot to online learning has provided opportunities to many people, like disabled students, parents, and carers to return to and fully participate in education in a way that previously was not possible.

“While this may require additional funding for teaching roles, new technology and better facilities both on and off campus this should be no reason not to make it happen. Students all over the country are demanding the Minister steps up and ensures all students have fair and equitable access to further and higher education across Ireland into the future.”

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