• Liberal Caucus

It Is Time for Government to Fully Explain Its Plan to Families, Students and Educators

With the school year fast approaching, it is time for government to fully explain its plans to families, students and educators, says Liberal MLA Robert Mitchell.

“There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the plan for schools – and there are thousands of Islanders who need to hear a clear plan,” Mitchell said.

“Returning to class is always a challenge – and this year, it’s absolutely vital for government to clarify many unanswered questions.”

In particular, Mitchell pointed to the challenges facing parents, who are concerned with the health of their children.

“Parents have asked me to get explanations for the way that social distancing in classrooms will be achieved, and whether children will be required to wear masks. For the parents of younger kids, the mask question is particularly important, since many children will need time to get used to them.”

Additionally, there are many concerns with transportation. Earlier this year, government suggested that many parents may have to drive their children to school, rather than using buses. This has caused a great deal of concern, and most especially among parents with difficult work schedules.

“I have also heard from teachers, who want to make certain that they are following the best advice and procedures possible. They need more specific direction and a thorough explanation of their responsibilities in a changed world.”

In addition to the pressing matters of school operations, Mitchell said it’s important for government to lay out a flexible plan that addresses the possibility of a second virus wave.

“For that reason, I have written the Chair of the Education and Economic Growth Committee to hold hearings into the upcoming school year. I think we need to begin with Education Minister Brad Trivers. A thorough presentation should help to reassure parents, students and educators – and shed light on government’s preparations for a very challenging fall.”

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