COVID-19 Guidelines for the Irish Language Summer Colleges sector have been launched today by Jack Chambers T.D., Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, in the context of the Department’s role of supporting the sector and to provide clarity on the minimum requirements to be met if Irish language course go ahead this summer.
The Minister of State Jack Chambers said:
I am looking forward to engaging with the households and the colleges’ representatives in the coming days to hear their views on these guidelines, and working together to ensure the safety of all and the viability of this important sector over the months and years ahead.
The guidelines are primarily aimed at the directors of the Irish Colleges and the qualifying Gaeltacht households who provide accommodation to students.
In addition to being published on the Department’s website here a copy will also be sent to every household registered with the Department and every summer college recognised under the scheme along with the college’s representative body, CONCOS.
The guidelines were developed by health and safety consultants on behalf of the Department, in line with the Government’s 5 Level Plan, COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – The Path Ahead.
The number of students that could be accommodated per household would be limited, subject to prevailing restrictions, in the event that courses were to go ahead:
Level 1: students from 3 different households would be permitted
Level 2: students from up to 3 different households would be permitted
Level 3, 4 and 5: no students would be permitted.
Given that the guidelines are subject at all times to prevailing regulations and public health advice, the guidelines may be subject to change over time. It is a live draft document.
In order to hear view and suggestions from the households that provide accommodation to the students, Minister of State Chambers is today inviting each Irish Language College recognised by the Department to nominate one of their registered households to attend an online meeting with the Minister of State and Department officials on Friday 23 April.
Stakeholders are also invited to send their views in writing to the Department by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 27 April 2021.
The representative body of Gaeltacht summer colleges, CONCOS, will also be invited to discuss the matter at a meeting on Monday 26 April.