Government Needs to Address Inadequate Back to School “Plan”
As we enter what is hopefully the final stretch of the pandemic, government must ensure precautions remain in place and we don’t let our guard down too
soon, says Liberal Education Critic Gord McNeilly.
"At the end of the day, my concerns are for the many still unvaccinated children.”
“The back to school plan released by government on Monday did not contain the guidance and requirements necessary to ensure an orderly and safe return to schools this fall. The plan leaves masking and vaccination requirements up to each individual student and staff, despite a large portion of school age children remaining unvaccinated.”
The PEI Home and School Federation expressed concerns, stating they would like to see last school years mask mandate remain in place. The PEI Teachers Federation released a statement saying they hoped to see mask requirements remain for students in K-6 when transitioning within schools and on busses. Our two largest post secondary institutions also announced vaccination requirements for students and staff, with exemptions.
“If government has decided they will not require mandatory vaccinations for education staff, we must ensure a robust testing system is in place for unvaccinated workers, in order to protect unvaccinated students.”
Since this plan was first released, education groups and parents have expressed concern with the lack of detail. Relying on recommendations and suggestions is not enough, government must ensure mandatory requirements, if they want to protect all Island students, says McNeilly.
“It’s my hope that in the coming day’s government will take a hard look at this plan, and how it could be improved, to address the many concerns that have been raised. We have worked so hard to get where we are in this pandemic, we just need to keep our guard up for a little bit longer, to ensure everyone gets through this pandemic together. At the end of the day, my concerns are for the unvaccinated children.”
Jake Godfrey, Legislative Assistant
Office of the Third Party