It has been an anxious and worrying time for teachers, secretaries, cleaners, bus drivers, leaders, SNAs and students themselves, and their response to the pandemic was recognised with a special 'go raibh maith agaibh' on social media today.
Primary and post primary students and classrooms across Ireland posted #GRMA video messages and pictures to celebrate the ongoing work in keeping students safe and schools open.
Saying thank you is free. So #GRMA to all our teachers and school staff who have worked so hard to keep our classrooms open this year. Go raibh maith agaibh go léir. @DustinOfficial @RadioRayRTE @RyanTubridyShow@EoghanMcDermo @DoireannGarrihy @NAPD_IE @IPPN_Education @Ja_Irl pic.twitter.com/12YcckxDne— RTÉ (@rte) December 11, 2020
President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to school communities with a message of thanks.
In his message, the President acknowledged the dedication and sacrifices of all those involved in the education system.
He thanked them for their efforts which enabled schools, "vital to the healthy functioning of our society", to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The event was organised by the advisory board of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals in collaboration with education partners and student leaders.
Helen Raftery, NAPD advisory board member and CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, said "school communities have gone above and beyond" to overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19.
"GRMA day offers a moment for Ireland to pause and acknowledge that effort.
"The pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for our primary and post primary schools. As we approach the Christmas period in this year like no other, it so important to acknowledge the huge effort by all involved: school teachers, secretaries, cleaners, bus drivers, SNAs, school leaders and indeed students, for curtailing the spread of Covid-19 and enabling a continuation of the hugely important role that schools play in all our lives," she said.
"We owe a great debt of gratitude to our school communities and I congratulate all those who've contributed to this national day of celebration."