Education Minister’s back-to-school plan creates uncertainty for parents, teachers and students

VICTORIA (MAY 15, 2020) — Official Opposition Critic for Education Dan Davies is calling on the provincial government to provide further clarity for parents, teachers and students after many questions remained unanswered following today’s announcement that K-12 students will begin optional in-class instruction on June 1.

“Today’s announcement did not provide the certainty that parents and teachers were hoping as once again, the government has issued a plan that provides general guidelines but raises more questions than answers,” said Davies. “How can we ensure that our teachers will be provided with adequate PPE and that classrooms will have appropriate safety measures in place? What will a curriculum with optional in-class learning look like? This government has had two months to plan for this and disappointingly, it looks like too much is being left up in the air.”

Today’s announcement revealed that in-class instruction for kindergarten to Grade 5 students will resume on an optional half time basis, while Grade 6 to 12 students will have the option of returning for in-class learning once a week. General health and safety measures guidelines have been provided but each school district will have to map out their own individual return-to-school and safety plans.

“What I am hearing from parents, teachers, and support staff is that they have been left to organize an incredibly complex procedure in a short amount of time with little guidance or consultation,” added Davies. “With only nine working days until our kids are scheduled to return to classrooms, the safety of our teachers and students must be our top priority. If our teachers are going to juggle in-class and virtual learning while maintaining proper health and safety measures, government needs to work much more closely with our school districts to ensure that they have the appropriate guidelines and resources to carry out safe and effective learning.”

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