Effective immediately, Alberta schools can no longer require students to wear masks. The government is also forcing schools to offer face-to-face classes at all times for those who wish.
The face-to-face learning measures apply to all classes 1-12 in all school authorities. The ban on masks applies from pre-kindergarten to the twelfth grade.
Schools can no longer switch to virtual and distance learning only in the event of an outbreak among students or staff shortages.
Parents and students have repeatedly told me that they want a normal learning environment, Prime Minister Danielle Smith said in a statement. She adds that
Families are free to make their own health care choices, and regardless of their choices, they are supported by Alberta’s education system.
Education Secretary Adriana LaGrange also believes these new rules will prevent parents from having to miss work. In a letter to her parents, she writes that “these changes [leur] permitted […] to continue working to support their families without the added burden of finding and paying for childcare during the school day. »
The Minister also reiterated that this news
stability Enabling students to catch up on learning delays accumulated during the pandemic and reducing mental health problems in young people.
Certain specialized establishments could be exempted from these new rules, particularly the classes based in hospitals.
The Prime Minister announced last month her intention to draw a line under the possibility of reintroducing compulsory masks in schools.
On Wednesday, provincial health chief Mark Joffe sent a letter to parents about respiratory virus infections. He wrote that “wearing a mask can help reduce it [le] disease risk etc [peut aider] to protect others while establishing that individuals should be helped regardless of their choice [d’en porter un ou non]. »
These new measures apply to public, Catholic and French schools as well as private and charter schools.
An announcement that met with criticism
MP Sarah Hoffman, the New Democratic Party’s education critic, has criticized the United Conservative Government’s decision. “It’s clear that Adriana LaGrange and Danielle Smith have no idea what’s going on in the schools,” she responded.
She thinks it is him
totally unrealistic to oblige schools to provide in-person tuition to students who wish to do so, while continuing to provide virtual tuition to students who must be absent without providing them with additional resources.
The move comes as several schools grapple with outbreaks of the respiratory virus that are driving absenteeism skyrocketing.
Jason Schilling, Chair of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, agrees. according to him
If schools have no choice but to implement online learning, they will not be able to offer face-to-face classes at the same time, as the new regulations envisage, in response to staff shortages.
Edmonton pediatrician and endocrinologist Isabelle Chapados says the province is on the wrong track when it comes to wearing masks in schools. “I think it’s a bit premature to issue protection bans, especially in a situation where hospitals are overcrowded and children are very sick,” she says.
” We’re not talking about forcing the mask on young children under the age of 5, we’re just talking about having a mask […] to keep the children in class. »
However, when it comes to learning in the classroom, she agrees
Students are better off in class for their learningeven if the mask requirement applied.
She thinks this is a learning solution
hybrid could be interesting,
for the few days when you are sick and have to stay at home. Its General Council remains the same:
If you are sick, you should not go to work or school.