Ontario is one of the few provinces with British Columbia where primary and secondary school children will be able to continue their education online in 2022-2023 if they so wish.
Despite the declining number of COVID-19 cases, the Ontario Department of Education says it aims
ensure that students and families are supported and respected in the decision that works best for them.
The Doug Ford government also announced last February that ninth- to twelfth-year students must now obtain at least two online credits to graduate from high school, unless there is an exception.
The Liberal Party accuses Doug Ford and progressive conservatives of wanting online education to be permanent for K-12 students and is trying to privatize this form of education.
” For [les conservateurs]it’s just another way to reduce public education, increase the number of classes and save money on students’ backs. »
However, liberals do not want to cancel online courses immediately, saying this way of learning
may work for some students and families.
However, it should always be optionalsays Mrs Ernesaks.
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca has also pledged to withdraw the management of all online francophone courses from the TFO broadcaster if he takes power.
The Liberal Party would also ban hybrid training in 2022-2023, where a teacher must teach in a classroom and speak into the microphone for other students who take a computer course at home.
The NDP promises the complete abolition of online courses, even electives.
” Online education during a pandemic has clearly shown us that children learn best in the classroom, face to face with the caring teachers and educators who support them. »
In the case of NDP, online courses should only be used as a fallback solution if a pandemic again calls for the closure of schools.
The Progressive Conservative Party did not respond to our request for comment.
In British Columbia, the government explains that online courses were an option before the pandemic and will continue to be offered next year, emphasizing the benefits of personal learning for students’ intellectual, social well-being and emotions.
What the experts think
Steve Bissonnette, a professor at TÉLUQ University, asks parents not to enroll their children in a virtual school.
It is a very bad choicetalks about online classes.
” Rarely have I seen in the researcher’s career such convergent literature that would show the extremely negative effects of this type of teaching, both on performance and on the developmental aspects of the child. »
He cites research conducted in the United States, especially in Florida, where online courses have been offered for two decades, which shows that even the most talented students perform worse in virtual mode, whether in elementary or high school.
” Our American neighbors are looking for a magic drink [avec les cours en ligne] for 20 years and have not found! »
According to him, online courses should only be a solution for
repairfor example, at the beginning of a pandemic or in very specific and temporary situations, such as those of a student who is ill or a victim of bullying.
Nafissa Ismail, a professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa, says
it is good to be able to. He gives the example of parents with a precarious health condition who may prefer that their children do not go to school in person in the autumn to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
However, parents are advised to consider the pros and cons.
” I would tell parents to look at how their child was doing when education was only virtual. Does he seem to feel more isolated? Did he have any learning problems? »
Professor Ismail does not recommend online lessons for students under the age of 10 who, according to observations during the pandemic, had
even more difficulty concentrating and staying at work for an hour.
He adds that
real school integration personally, it is especially important for children entering school.
Anne Vinet-Roy, President of the French-Ontario Teachers’ Association (AEFO), speaks
concerned about the impact of virtual opportunities on the education and well-being of staff as well as students.
” We believe that personal learning is the best choice to provide a learning environment that will enable employees and students to thrive. »
He says the union will monitor the situation next year as well.
Karen Littlewood, president of the Ontario High School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), says that online classroom management is and
another example of the Ford government, which throws its responsibilities on its parents’ backs.
Parents still have to choose between online or in-person education for their child, he says, because the government has mishandled the pandemic.
He adds that online courses highlight inequalities among students because the supply varies from school board to school.
The Federation of Primary School Teachers (FEEO), for its part, describes how
irresponsible and illogical Ford’s decision to continue to require schools to offer online courses in September.
It is the government’s responsibility to create a safe learning environment for all students in schools. However, instead of making the necessary adjustments, they continue to strain educational resources and put further pressure on school boards, teachers and educators by requiring them to offer online courses in the next school year.said the president of ETFO Karen Brown, in a press release published last February.
More money, say parents
Paul Baril, president of the Ontario group Parents Partners in Education, does not object to the government continuing to offer online education as an opportunity for parents who
they are not happy with their child’s return to full-time school.
That is, he would not want it to come at the expense of funding personal tuition.
” In the minds of many parents, we dilute the system, allocating resources that went to the classroom, which will now have to go to virtual education as well. »
If the new government joins online education after the election, Mr Baril intends to demand an increase in funding for education.
We need to spend and not cut in education or dilute because we know our pandemic children are lagging behindhe said.