It’s time to build a safer education system
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/09/2020 (998 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As summer comes to an end, families across Manitoba are sending their kids back to the classroom, while teachers take on another year of learning.
It seems as if this will be a school year like no other, as parents and educators alike work to make sure kids have a safe place to learn, develop and grow.
Over the past month, I’ve heard from dozens of anxious teachers, educational assistants, and parents from across northeast Winnipeg who know that a return to school this fall is essential, but want to make sure it’s done safely. That means making sure educators have the resources they need in the classroom, students have adequate space to physically distance, and schools have better infrastructure to prevent viral transmission.
Unfortunately, the provincial government has not done nearly enough to make sure that can happen.
Gaps in the government’s back to school plan mean that many classrooms will stay crowded, while schools are asked to do more with less. Large class sizes won’t allow room for students to practise physical distancing, a lack of investments to improve ventilation in schools could lead to serious safety concerns for anyone in the classroom, and the mixing of cohorts during lunch breaks or recess could make it easier for the virus to spread.
Now is the time to be investing in building a safer education system, not maintaining the status quo.
The Manitoba NDP team has called on the province to invest in a real plan that keeps kids safe, instead of spending thousands of dollars on a costly, self-promoting advertising campaign, and leaving $190 million in unspent COVID-19 relief funds on the table. We’ve made it clear that common-sense investments in education should be the government’s top priority. Lowering class sizes with a 15-student cap per classroom, improving outcomes by hiring more teachers and EAs, creating safer spaces by improving school ventilation infrastructure, and keeping kids safe on their way to and from school by getting more buses on the road, should all be top of mind for the government.
If you have any ideas on how we can make this fall’s return to school as safe and effective as possible, do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 204-654-1857 or email@example.com
Concordia constituency report
Matt Wiebe is the NDP MLA for Concordia.