Irish schools likely to be closed for more than five weeks
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Irish schools likely to be closed for more than five weeks

IRISH schools are likely to be closed for more than five weeks due to the coronavirus crisis.

As of today, schools across the country were shut down and are expected to remain closed until March 29.

However, this date could be reviewed and pushed back if the crisis worsens.

Schools are expected to close for the Easter holidays too, which could mean that they won't be re-opening their doors until Monday, April 20, at the earliest.

The entire education system, from pre-primary to third-level, has closed for face-to face classes, but in order to minimise social contact and restrict and slow down spread of the disease, further action could be taken by the government to reduce the amount of mass gatherings around the country.

Many more cases are expected to be confirmed over the coming days and weeks, and the Department of Education are considering a re-think of the March 29 re-opening date, according to the Irish Independent.

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Education Minister Joe McHugh said the situation would be under ongoing review, flagging the possibility that the date could change.

The closure of schools could present a huge challenge for parents and care givers, particularly if the date is extended beyond March 29.

Fears of disruption to summer exams are now rife, with many schools looking into ways of prioritising and supporting exam classes preparing for State exams in June.

The Department of Education has asked schools, universities and other higher and further education colleges to use online resources and online lessons, where possible, but that will be a challenge for those who have a poor broadband connection, and impossible for those with none at all.