Return to school plan encouraging, but

Party Phone Number

(709) 753-6043

    |    

Party Email Address

Return to school plan encouraging, but concerns remain: Petten
Petten says he knows parents are relieved to see a path towards in-person learning for their children on the targeted date of January 24, but questions remain about the plan.
Thursday, January 13, 2022

(January 13, 2022) – Barry Petten, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister of Education and MHA for Conception Bay South, says he knows parents are relieved to see a path towards in-person learning for their children on the targeted date of January 24, but questions remain about the plan.

“I’m glad to see some clarity for parents on the next steps towards getting the children of Newfoundland and Labrador back to the classroom. The use of rapid tests for educators and children alike is a good step to help ensure the first day of school is safe. I’m happy to see the province finally make use of its backlog of rapid testing,” said Petten.

“The speed by which the province distributes these tests is going to be critical to meet the January 24 target date, to ensure a safe return to school. I’m also hearing concerns about immunocompromised children and family members with similar concerns. There must be accommodations made, likely through a hybrid online learning model, to ensure no child falls through the cracks for the school year.”

Petten says he is concerned about the staffing requirement of the school district, given the rapid spread of the Omicron virus.

“We’ve seen how quickly COVID-19 can spread among frontline workers in the healthcare system, which resulted in not only difficult moments for those affected, but limiting services in the system. The Minister says he’s hopeful enough substitutes will be available, but teachers have had concerns about the number of teachers and substitutes available well before today,” said Petten.

“Everyone agrees we need to avoid a stop-and-start approach to in-person learning. The Minister and Department must ensure in-person learning is maintained throughout what’s already been a challenging year in our education system.”

-30-

 

Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

© 2022 - PC Party Newfoundland and Labrador