Ontario government launches learn-at-home website as millions of students stay home
KITCHENER -- Two million students across the province have been out of class all week and won't go back until April 6 at the earliest.
The Ontario government announced Friday that it had launched its learn-at-home website with links to content that will help bridge the gap for now.
There are two components to the learning: programming for younger learners on public broadcaster TVO and an e-learning website for high school students.
The government says they are also working with schoolboards to get the right technology into the hands of students who don't have a computer at home.
The idea is that this material will get students through the next two weeks. If schools stay closed past April 6, the government will offer more content.
"If we do have to go beyond the two weeks, I want parents to know with confidence that we will scale up and expand upon the first phase of the learn-at-home program to ensure it is more robust," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce on Friday morning.
"Obviously I look forward to engaging with a variety of partners, including the unions, over the coming days to see how we can better involve educators as part of the solution. I know many of them want to be part of the solution to learning during this period of unprecedented instability."
He also promised that no student would have their graduation compromised because of the virus. He said students should still apply for their post-secondary placements, as well.
The announcement came during a news conference on Friday, where Premier Ford highlighted the need for online learning for students at home during the pandemic.
Experts also say there are plenty of ways to promote learning while kids are at home.
Shana MacDonald is an assistant professor at University of Waterloo.
She says there are plenty of other free resources or while doing things around the house, like baking to learn math, or learning different household chores.
"I think there'll be tons of learning opportunities that are happening that aren't tied to curriculum that will more than make up for the lack of possible learning in the next two weeks," she says.
MacDonald says parents need to be understanding of the challenges that they're facing and not be too hard on themselves.