THE Department of Education has confirmed plans for all remaining second-level students will return to in-school education on Monday, April 12.
A spokesperson for the Department told The Echo: "It is the intention of both Government and the Department of Education that all students will return to school from Monday 12 April.
"This is the final stage in the phased reopening of all schools and will see the return of all children to in-school learning, including the first to fourth-year groups at post-primary level."
Coláiste Chríost Rí principal Padraig Mac An Rí welcomed the positive news that all the remaining secondary school pupils will be returning after the Easter holidays.
“It will be great to have them all back in fairness. Please God we will be welcoming them all back on Monday, April 12. All the students are themselves mad to get back,” he said.
Mr Mac An Rí said the online teaching worked very well in recent months, but nothing compares to in-house teaching.
“The students have been working away very competently in recent months. Online teaching went very well. We were very well prepared for it this time which was a help. It worked much better than the first time around. We had done sufficient training with both staff and students preparing ourselves for the eventuality and it worked very well. Everyone deserves great credit.
"Teachers, parents and the students will all be very pleased with this announcement. Everybody wins and benefits from the students being back in the classroom. It is important they get back as a lot of these students have been out of the classroom environment a few months,” he added.
The principal of Nagle Community College, Jim O’Sullivan said he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the return of all the secondary school students on Monday, April 12.
“We have been delighted with the return of the fifth and sixth-year students.
“There is cautious optimism about the full return. Deep down everybody wants everyone back. The biggest concern for me would be that if students didn’t return they only have seven weeks left in the next term until it ends on May 28. It would be to their huge detriment if they didn’t return because they would have 19 weeks of homeschooling.”
Mr O’Sullivan is looking forward to welcoming back his remaining students.
“It is positive news. The students are looking forward to coming back. I am looking forward to seeing more faces and hearing more noise in the corridors,” he added.