‘Behaving As Though Every Home Still Had A Stay At Home Mother’


Last night.

Prime Time on RTÉ One.

Meanwhile via Simon McGarr:

….Yesterday morning the Minister for Education was on the airwaves. He told Sarah McInerny that schools weren’t going to reopen properly come September. We’d still be doing the online learning a few days a week, with a few other days with the children in school.

This was… bonkers.

For decades the Education has steadfastly insisted on behaving as though every home still had a stay at home mother to look after children at any given time.

But proposing to put that presumption into action, by forcing parents trying to return to work to give that work up for some, unspecified number of days a week, yet to be determined did not go down well.

By Prime Time at 9.30pm, The Minister for Education was back out on the airwaves, to come out swinging against the Minister for Education from that morning and his daft talk.

The Minister for Education has said he would not accept a “half return” to school which would be required if the current two-metre social distancing guidelines remain in place in September.

At the start of the covid discussions, a lifetime ago in March 2020, there was talk of the idea of ‘lockdown fatigue’ where the public just would refuse to comply.

Homeschooling a 9 year old, while also trying to educate a 6 year old, while trying to work a full time job all at the same table seems like a circumstance designed to test the limits of that fatigue to the maximum.

We may yet see the Department of Education’s certainty on what can and cannot go ahead in September is as unreal as the Leaving Cert that never was.

Schools Out Forever? (Simon McGarr, The Gist)

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14 thoughts on “‘Behaving As Though Every Home Still Had A Stay At Home Mother’

  1. phil

    Are parents who are homeschooling their kids and also working from home themselves getting a tax break or being paid a supplement , surprised the teacher unions aren’t suggesting this ….

    1. Mick

      You can claim a tax break, or get paid a tax-free supplement by your employer.
      See: https://www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/tdm/income-tax-capital-gains-tax-corporation-tax/part-05/05-02-13.pdf

      Where the Government recommends that employers allow employees to work from home to support national public health objectives, as in the case of Covid-19, the employer may pay the employee up to €3.20 per day tax free to cover the additional costs of working from home. If the employer does not make this payment, the employee may be entitled to make a claim under section 114 TCA 1997 in respect of vouched expenses incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of the employment

    2. Ricky

      Jesus man
      Who the hell is going to pay for it?
      Richly Boyd’s barrets money tree
      What with 2%public pay increase on the way a 30 billion gap in public finance and the aftermath just work it out

  2. scottser

    Online learning is extremely limited. Even though we go through the homework with my two (6 and 4) their reading isn’t getting any better and their motivation for it is right down. Kids perform better in a peer setting at this age. They’re stimulated in other ways but I can tell they miss their friends and their teachers.
    I also understand the teachers themselves are finding internet classes are unsatisfactory and they believe it shouldn’t be a long-term solution.
    Tell me this – if my kids are about a third of my size then why are they subject to a two-metre restriction?

    1. Cian

      It is most likely to do with height rather than size. Avenge 4-year old is ~1m tall so a relatively smaller ‘social distance’ would make sense.

      Saying that – the distance/time thing isn’t exact science. If you stand 2m from someone for 16minutes, or 1.9m for 15 minutes – that doesn’t mean you will catch the virus. The more time you are near an infected person and/or the closer you are to them – the higher the likelihood of you being infected.

      Either way, if you have 30 kids in a classroom – even if they try to abide by 2m social distancing – they are going to be breathing the same air, going to the same toilets, touching the same door handles and tables and toys. In that environment I’m not sure if enforcing social distancing would be worthwhile.

      1. scottser

        look, kids spaces are like petri dishes at the best of time. i can just imagine the hysteria come october when little johnny comes home with a routine cough – holohon’s stormtroopers descending on the school like it was hank scorpio’s underground bunker..

        1. millie in handcuffs

          That’s an incredible description and the kids would only relish the chaos.

          Or at least mine would. She’s the human embodiment of a tornado these days.

          1. scottser

            we were following the progress of frog spawn close to where we live from february till now. the good weather has dried up the water and there are loads of little tadpole corpses on the ground. my two were distraught but there are some lessons that kids have to learn that they won’t get in school; while we have to look after nature, she can be a right bitch sometimes.

    2. Ricky

      I remember being in court and a man with one leg was on a charge for drink driving arguing he was not over the limit because the blood flowed around a smaller body because he had one leg

      The judge nearly died laughing
      But he gave him ten out of ten for neck which as he said made up for the missing leg

  3. millie in handcuffs

    Finding it very tough, and I’ve only the one kid.

    She’s been brilliant, to be fair to her. We start at 8am roughly, work til 9 and she gets a break, so I can get a few bits done myself, and then continue the schoolwork til 12.

    The afternoons are the hard part actually. Trying to keep a lone 6 year old entertained is very difficult, especially when it’s so nice out and she can’t be out playing with her friends etc and then trying to get whatever work done I can at the same time.

    Almost every parent I know has some version of this situation at the moment, but it’s unsustainable and has made for some very difficult days.

      1. millie in handcuffs

        Oh I saw that! It had me in stitches. She’s not wrong, you know. She’s just very, very… vocal about it.

  4. george

    Another thing COVID19 is highlighting is that it should be possible for a parent of either gender to primarily work in the home if they wish and I don’t mean remote working. Two income families being necessary just to cover normal living expenses is another poxy aspect of our current era.

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