Quebec was the first province in canada to reopen its schools after the first wave of the disease has interrupted the activities on the whole of its territory.
June 21, 2020 16h12
Updated at 19: 40
The re-opening of schools is pretty well held
The Canadian Press
Some stakeholders have expressed a degree of satisfaction on the way in which the re-opening of schools took place outside of the Montreal area, despite the pandemic of COVID-19.
The school holidays will begin next week.
Quebec was the first province in canada to reopen its schools after the first wave of the disease has interrupted the activities on the whole of its territory. Children outside the montreal region are returned in class in mid-may.
The president of the quebec Federation of school principals to education, Nicolas Prevost, said that about two-thirds of the students have returned to the schools once their parents felt comfortable with this idea.
According to him, things are relatively well placed, even if the maintenance of the separation physical has been a challenge in a school bus.
This will remain a problem in the return of the holiday if the guidelines of the public health remain in place.
For its part, the ministry of Education indicated, in an email, that approximately 50% of students in public schools and 66 % of those private schools that had reopened were back in class on the date of 5 June.
Lack of staff
The main concern of Mr. Prevost for next fall is the risk of lack of staff. He noted that many teachers are not returned in class for health reasons while others have chosen to remain at home during the pandemic.
Mr. Prevost provides that 15% of staff will not be back in the schools at the beginning of the next school year. “As we will have a presence at full-time, we will no longer have access to the personnel,” he said. The shortage of staff could be an important issue.”
The minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge said last week that the experience of spring had given him the confidence to go ahead with its intention to open a full-time primary and secondary schools at the start of the year.
The modified rules
Some rules will be changed. Thus, one form in the classes of kindergarten, primary and first three years of the secondary school sub-groups of six students who will not have to maintain a distancing between them.
According to the authorities, these sub-groups will facilitate the identification and containment of cases of COVID-19 in schools.
The ministry of Education said it had documented at the June 12, 22 cases of COVID-19 : 10 pupils and 12 staff members. There were as many as 53 the previous week.
The president of the Fédération des comités de parents, Kevin Roy, judge that the re-opening of schools went well, but lessons are to be learned about distance education in cases where a second wave would hit the province.
“We understand that it is the first time that this has happened in the recent history of Quebec to close the schools like this,” he says. At the beginning, it was supposed to be a vacation, after that it was optional, and then as that was for certain. The messages were not clear. This has led to much confusion in the school and to parents also.”
He also mentions that the parents of high school students have had a monitoring role is more increased over the course of the pandemic.
In many cases, families have had to juggle e-mails, schedules conflict, and the different platforms. “It has been a lot of adjustments, résiliences for parents,” said Mr. Roy.
A survey of members of the federation indicates that two-thirds of respondents felt that the management of class schedule has been a problem, either because they were working full-time at home, either because they felt overwhelmed.
The back-to-school has not been popular everywhere. Thus, the commission scolaire Eastern Townships, only one-third of primary school students are back in class.
According to its president, Michael Murray, the teachers wore masks made at home. The new restrictions have been met. Those who have returned in class seemed to enjoy it.
Mr. Murray believes that many things are to be dealt with before the new school year : the school transport, cafeterias, schedules, etc
He is also concerned about the concept of sub-groups.
“It could be possible in the secondary, but at primary it is a suggestion ridiculous, teachers need to work with the children. They do not stand in front of the class and do not give a lecture.”
The service centers of anglophone and francophone school – which replace the school boards will have the responsibility to develop a plan B in case of new wave.
Mr. Roy hopes that the parents will be consulted this time.
“They are the ones who have been facing a lot of problems. They do include it in future decisions, in which solutions should be found to improve this.”