President Higgins pays tribute to school communities managing the Covid-19 pandemic

Fri 11th Dec, 2020 | 11:00

Friday, 11th December, 2020

Message for NAPD “Go Raibh Maith Agaibh Day” 2020

11 December 2020

Tá áthas an domhain orm an deis seo a bheith agam mo bhuíochas a ghabháil leo siúd go léir a d’oibrigh go dian, chun cinntiú gur fhan na scoileanna ar fud na tíre ar oscailt le cúpla mí anuas.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who have worked so hard to ensure schools across the country have remained open in recent months.

The early months of the Coronavirus pandemic threw into sharp focus the vital role that schools play in the lives of our children and how integral they are to the healthy functioning of our young people and our society.

Mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, may I acknowledge and commend you for the generous commitment we have witnessed from our school communities during this year of unprecedented challenges. Despite the circumstances thrown up by having to respond to the virus, your dedication to the nation’s children has remained steadfast.

All of you have worked with great dedication to ensure our school gates could reopen in August and our young people could return to schools that would operate under the safest conditions possible. I am aware of the many complex plans and processes that had to be drawn up, and the greatly transformed school environment and working day to which you all had to adapt in order to make this happen.

May I thank you for all of the generous sacrifices made. Your flexibility, compassion and professionalism has ensured that our young people have been enabled to resume their education, maintain and develop friendships, and continue to grow and learn alongside their peers in a positive and nurturing school environment.

Like all good communities, a healthy school community is one which thrives through the contribution of many people, working together to create and sustain places of belonging, of care and of shared interests and experience.

Today I would like to acknowledge all those involved in our school communities, including the teachers, SNAs, administrators, transport staff, traffic wardens, Governors and Boards of Management, maintenance and cleaning staff, and all of the many other people who play such a critical role in the lives of our schools and our schoolchildren.

I would also like to thank the pupils, for their co-operation and support at this challenging time. By working together to keep each other safe, you too are playing a vital role in ensuring that our schools can remain open.

I wish each and every one of you a happy Christmas and a New Year of hope and possibility.

Guím Nollaig Sona agus Bliain Úr lán dóchais agus féidearthachtaí oraibh go léir.

Beir beannacht.