Distance faculty “for a bit of bit”

Returning to class on January 17 is a “desirable” but unlikely scenario

Published January 5th

Marie-Eve Morasse

Marie-Eve Morasse

In the face of an increase in the number of short-lived COVID-19 cases, returning to class on January 17, according to unions and leadership, is a “desirable” goal, but it is moving away from parents.

“I do not see how we can reopen in two weeks. »

Sylvain Martel, spokesman for the Regroupement des Comités de Parents Autonomes du Québec, explains that given the increase in COVID-19 cases, preparing for a distance school is “a little” much more than just “considering”. return to class.

Because school is a place where “we multiply our contacts, stabilization must take place first [du nombre] case, ”says Kathleen Legault, president of the Montreal Association of Headteachers (AMDES).

Because if schools opened this Wednesday, we would face the same problem as in hospitals: staff laid on the floor because of COVID-19. “It’s a big problem,” she said.yes Legault.

“Teachers are becoming increasingly rare in connection with the epidemics we are experiencing. There is a reality: if we want to go back to full-time school at some point, it will require people, ”notes Josée Scalabrini, President of the Federation of Educational Unions (FSE).

In this context, more vaccination areas should be opened so that staff can receive the third dose before returning in person. Some have reported to the FSE that they cannot meet the deadlines by the end of January.

Problems remain

The Legault government has repeatedly reiterated its desire to close schools as little as possible, but if it wants to reopen them in two weeks, it will have to say “how we secured the premises,” she said.yes Scalabrini.

He cites air quality as a reason, a problem we “haven’t just discovered”. “We talked about it a year and a half ago. This is the second winter we are living with and we have never been able to calm the teachers in the community, “says M.yes Scalabrini, who reminds us that we are still telling teachers to open the windows in the middle of winter.

Ontario announced a few days ago that 3,000 air purifiers would be purchased for schools across the province and N95 masks would be provided to staff.

Should we install air purifiers in the classrooms? FSE does not dare to formally request them.

Even though [le gouvernement] he said tomorrow morning that there would be air purifiers in all classes, no one would believe it.

Josée Scalabrini, President of the Federation of Educational Unions

Gives an example of computer equipment for distance schools and CO readers.2 promised Quebec, which did not arrive on schedule. As for the N95 masks, the staff who work with pupils in special schools do not even have access to them.

AMDES believes that this could be a prerequisite for returning to school. “We offered it to employees in Ontario: why not in Quebec? her president, Kathleen Legault, asks.

Families should also have access to rapid test kits, he suggests.

A spokesman for the Regroupement des Parents Autonomes du Québec, representing mainly the Montreal and Laval regions, said he would like to know “that people are not improvising that we have a plan.” In this context, Sylvain Martel believes that Education Minister Jean-François Roberge “missed the opportunity to show that he is in the lead”.

When asked by the N95 masks, quick tests and school air purifiers, the office of the Minister of Education said that a press briefing scheduled for Wednesday would answer these questions. Mr Roberge will be accompanied by the National Director of Public Health, Dr.r Horacio Arruda.

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