Shady Salah – Media in Toronto
Ontario Education Minister, Stephen Lecce, said on Thursday that the number one priority of the provincial government is to keep families students and staff safe, underlining that they will do whatever it takes to do that.
Speaking to reporters via phone, the minister said that the government’s decision to close schools, one of the first jurisdictions in the industrialized world to do so to save lives.
“As we plan to build out a stronger online learning program should kids stay home longer than April 2nd than we’ve already signaled that they will, because the public health challenges that are facing so many Canadians in so many citizens of the world. So we’ll be announcing in the coming days, the extension the due date schools will be closed out of the interest of protecting public health, that will be based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of health, we’re also going to be announcing our face to plan alert at home.”
“It’s a good start, I know you deserve more you want more engaged with educators you want more curriculum. And that’s why we’re going to be scaling it up building it up. And really, ensuring that we utilize every asset available to keep our kids involved in education. And so that’s, that’s our commitment to you of course over the past days we’ve reached another tentative agreement in addition to the Catholic teachers on two weeks ago this past week this past Friday we announced a tentative agreement with the elementary teacher Federation largest Teachers Federation Ontario, very important news but one day our kids will be back. And that’s a good thing. And we want to make sure that our students return to the classroom that is investing in their futures. To see succeed. And these deals are positive for students taxpayers.”
“What I can tell you is two things. One, we want to see teachers play an important role and learning phase two component. Two, we’re going to be unrolled or rolling it out in the coming days to get predictability for parents, as they could get involved and to learn at home website. It will also waive graduation requirements to make sure that kids can graduate this year I’m working with minister of College, University of Ontario, to ensure that they continue to graduate seamlessly. And so we’re going to continue to do our part to continue to work collaboratively. I’ve also reached out to the teacher union personally yesterday and expressed to them the importance of collaboration now more than ever. So I think we’re going to unveil a very positive plan, early next week.
Responding to a question from MEDIAinTORNTO, regarding the possibility of launching virtual lessons program, the minister said many students and many teachers are ultimately comes down to the capacity ability of students to access technology sometimes that’s a challenge. So we’re working with school boards to work with, enabling these students get access to the technology. We’re also making sure that if you don’t have a computer or you don’t have interest, we will print to the materials that you can bring them into your home and do the work, on, on printed divorce material. So, one way or another. I mean we’re going to ensure that every child has access to the material to a teacher, and to be inspired to keep learning while they’re holding during this very difficult and unprecedented pandemic.”