Michael Marra, a Scottish Labour MSP, has blasted the government for failing to address the rising incidence of covid cases among schoolchildren, despite pleas for sufficient ventilation in classrooms.
The SNP has been accused of “breathtaking complacency” in the face of the growth of covid in Scottish schools, with the Labour Party accusing the government of ignoring repeated safety warnings.
As fresh numbers show that covid is common in classrooms, Scottish Labour has criticised the SNP for failing to keep schools safe.
Labour’s education spokesman, Michael Marra MSP, asked for a massive investment in classroom ventilation as well as teachers receiving the same priority testing as health workers.
He spoke out after studies revealed that incidences of covid were on the rise among children, with three out of every four schools in Scotland being affected.
Last week, 75 percent of all schools, including an astounding 85 percent of secondary schools, had at least one incidence of Covid.
Despite dropping rates overall, data shows that instances are increasing among younger age groups.
“These harsh data highlight the catastrophic repercussions of the SNP’s inactivity on schools,” Michael Marra remarked.
“They disregarded one warning after another, and today Covid is rife in our classrooms, endangering the health and education of our children.”
The case rate for children aged 5 to 11 was nearly three times that of the general population, with the test positivity rate for this age group reaching 50% last week.
According to census statistics from the 25th of January, 13,676 students skipped school due to Covid, with a total of 32,133 students missing school for Covid-related reasons.
Labour accused the SNP of “breathtaking carelessness” when it came to school safety, and issued a list of demands to improve school safety.
Labour called for priority testing for teachers, bringing them in line with vital NHS staff, as well as continuing calls for real investment in classroom ventilation.
“Teachers have been hung out to dry, with minimal safety and no access to expedited testing,” Marra added.
“We must invest in good ventilation in our classrooms and provide instructors with the urgent testing they require to keep our schools open.”
“If keeping schools open is the SNP’s top concern, they should act like it.”
“It’s time to get a grip and make our schools secure after two years of astonishing complacency.”
“Our objective continues to minimize disruption to education while keeping schools safe for kids and staff,” a Scottish Government official said.
“Education staff, who continue to do an outstanding job in the midst of the pandemic’s obstacles, are already classified as important workers and can be given first priority for PCR testing.”
“Local authorities will receive up to £5 million in further help to ensure that ventilation in schools and early childhood facilities meets the latest COVID-19 safety recommendations, which is in addition to the £10 million we granted to councils last year,” the official said.
“We’ve put money into increasing ventilation and air quality in schools, as well as ensuring CO2 monitoring across the board.” Our guideline, prepared in collaboration with teachers’ unions, spells out what schools must do, including at a minimum weekly air quality monitoring.”