COLUMNS: School reopening plan receives a failing grade

At the heart of their concerns, is the uncertainty created by NDP Education Minister Rob Fleming

This week the NDP unveiled a plan for the return to school in the fall for B.C. students

Although parents are grateful for the work by Dr. Bonnie Henry and health officials to ensure students and staff are safe, the NDP is facing widespread criticism for failing to provide leadership and certainty for parents and teachers.

At the heart of their concerns, is the uncertainty created by NDP Education Minister Rob Fleming’s decision to download responsibility for fall plans onto school districts.

School districts won’t be able to finalize action plans until August 26, which leaves parents, teachers and students with barely a week before classes start to prepare.

Even the BC Teachers Federation is objecting to the short notice.

READ MORE: B.C. teacher hopes province will change back-to-school plan in fear of COVID transmission

Secondly, many school boards will want to implement a combination of in-class instruction with remote learning from home.

Fleming even pointed out that we have to rely on our “distance learning resources,” yet it was the NDP minister of education who only months ago slashed $12 million from Independent Distributed Learning school budgets.

Even more unclear are the “bubbles” or “learning groups” consisting of 60 or 120 staff and students (depending on the grade) who will stick together during the year for everything from classes, recess, gym and even lunch breaks.

As the Official Opposition, we are joining teachers and parent groups and demanding greater clarity from an education minister who seems to have skipped class.

Well, I am very sorry Minister Fleming, but this is not the proper way to protect students, staff and their families from the threat of a second wave of the pandemic.

Parents expected more clarity this week and instead are left with many questions that won’t be answered for weeks.

They deserve a whole lot better.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School demolition brings up memories

Darlene ‘Dar’ Hastings couldn’t wait to attend the new 100 Mile High when it opened in 1960.

Volunteering ‘best way to expand your bubble’

Val Severin serves the community as a way to give back

Old Timers Hockey league seeks players

The Old Timers Hockey Association is looking for players and increased community… Continue reading

Work begins on Clinton seniors’ living facility

Work has recently begun on a 20-bed seniors’ living facility in Clinton.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read