Across the globe, at least four provinces are returning to offline classes on Monday. Across four provinces, parents and teachers are getting ready to start in-person classes. But the fact that worries all are how ready the schools are for this?
Coronavirus Repercussions – In Canada And Other Locations
In Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, the teaching authorities are getting prepared to face the deluge head-on. Over the holidays, there were reports of many infections. And, as of this Monday, the government has not been able to reassure the school authorities about the next course of action.
Karen Brown, who is the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario president, has said that parents, teachers, and children have faced a range of emotions over the last few weeks. Moreover, staff absence also seems to have bogged down the system due to many staffers getting infected. Amidst this fifth wave of the virus, different people are showing a different range of emotions.
There are reports of anxiety, scare, and enthusiasm from various quarters amidst this decision. Paul Wozney from Nova Scotia has raised questions about the preparedness of the administration. Many students had to be sent home due to low staff attendance in the last week of December.
That was when cases were very low than they are now. However, the main thing that seems to concern all is that Omicron is getting worse.
The main problem, as highlighted by several authorities and spokespersons, is the falling level of teachers. It is more evident in the rural areas than in the capital Halifax.
Wozney has made the statement, that the administration does not have enough teaching resources to fill in for the positions. This has also been communicated to the education department.
Many school boards across Canada have also said that children could be sent back home again, midway. The same is due to rising levels of infections and inadequacy in maintaining the classroom schedules.
To keep all schools in Ontario and Nov Scotia, functioning in full swing, the authorities have deiced to deploy Rapid Antigen tests. Manitoba’s government also has similar plans for testing. It is also said that plans are underway to increase ventilation in schools.
The better ventilation and easy availability of masks are of prime concern at the moment. All the parents, the government, and the doctors want to ensure that the same is in effect before children revisit their schools.
In Quebec, new administration guidelines say that the schools do not need to shut down, in the event of an outbreak. However, it also said that the students can be moved to remote learning if more than 60 students need to be isolated.
Some parents are worried, as there is less availability of N95 masks for the general public. The other issue that seems to be overwhelming the authorities is contact tracing. Manitoba authorities say that it may be next to impossible to trace all those, the children come into contact with.
He has also added that the risk of children coming down with Omicron is relatively low. The return-to-school directive has come forward, at a time, when nearly 50 percent of children have received their first vaccination. And, 90 percent of the people aged 12 years and above are fully vaccinated in Canada. The provinces are in a race to boost their booster shots efficacy.
Lab-based testing is under strain currently. And, the actual count of infections may be much higher than reported. Moreover, hospitalization figures also cannot be relied on. With the virus taking different turns with each passing week, now it is best to seek a wait and watch stance to see which way developments are headed.