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Coronavirus: Dad tells of concern for his daughter's mental health without support network of classroom

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Fears: Mark Hone with Deirbhile

Fears: Mark Hone with Deirbhile

Fears: Mark Hone with Deirbhile

Pupils and parents here who face weeks of home schooling have told of their worries and concerns and how they'll miss the interaction with their teachers and classmates.

While teachers try to come to terms with providing education like never before, Mark Hone and his daughter Deirbhile (13) are also looking towards these next weeks and months with trepidation.

Mr Hone said: "Foyle College, where my daughter Deirbhile is a second-year student, took the decision this week to close [before] Monday using in-service days. They have set up online classes and she has had a couple already... I know her main concern is around the subjects she struggles at and I have tried to reassure her. The thing that I am worried about is how it is going to affect her mental health if she has no school for six months."

Deirbhile, who noted her concern was not just for herself but also for her classmates, said: "I and a few of my friends all learn through the teachers explaining things to us and I know I wouldn't have passed my exams last year if it wasn't for my teachers taking the time in the classroom, so it will be more challenging having to learn on your own."

She added: "Some people think it is great being off school, but I am struggling to find the light in this situation."

Belfast Telegraph