IRISH STUDENTS are expected to return to classrooms as normal for the start of the school year, according to education minister Joe McHugh
The Department of Education initially predicted that kids would only be able to return to school for one day per week due to coronavirus concerns, but things appear to have changed.
A detailed reopening plan for schools and businesses has outlined how it will likely be safe to return to the usual five-day week, though the plan won't be put into action until the start of the next school year in September.
McHugh warned the Dail that although the cost of fully returning to classrooms will be "massive", it was a necessary one as discussions between teaching unions and school management bodies continue.
Costs will include the development of mandatory infrastructure in order to keep students and staff safe, including social and physical distancing measures and the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Despite this, McHugh insists that these measures will not be "strict" as such requirements wouldn't be "practical or possible".
Plans for 'blended learning' - a mix of learning at home and in school - are still being considered by the department in case of further closures in the event of a spike in virus cases on a local or regional level, but the goal remains to get all children back to school before the start of the academic year.