With the increase in numbers of cases across Canada, and specifically in the Prairies, changes to in-person learning in elementary and secondary schools have been initiated.
In Alberta, children in grades seven to twelve will be switching to online learning. Children with disabilities are exempt from this shift and may continue attending schools in-person. Children in kindergarten to grade six will continue attending schools in-person. Some parents are worried about the quality of education their children will receive through the online platforms, while others continue to worry about the safety of children within school buildings. Additional measures have also been put into place such as extending the holiday break until January 11, 2021.
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation says that more should be done to ensure the safety of children and staff in schools. Currently, schools are switching to remote or online learning on a case-by-case basis, sometimes class-by-class, and sometimes whole school. Masking is now mandatory for all children in schools.
In Manitoba, a town hall meeting was held for teachers across the province. More than half of the teachers who attended reported that they had considered leaving the profession due to workplace stresses during the pandemic. The Hanover School Division is switching to online learning due to the high rate of cases in the area. Children of essential frontline workers are exempt and can continue attending school in-person.