Students, parents, educators growing impatient over decision to return to class
KITCHENER -- As the Ontario government decides whether or not to bring students back to classrooms for the end of the school year, some students, parents, and educators are growing impatient.
Grade four student Harini Sundaram is excited about possibly heading back to class soon even though the decision has yet to be announced by the province.
“You get to go to the library and you get to go to art, P.E.,” she said.
Her mother Priya, however, is growing impatient by the government’s hesitation and says remote learning has impacted her child’s mental health.
“They are getting stressed out at home,” she said. “Every day they are just sitting in front of the computer for more than six hours.”
Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table agrees that school closures have had a major impact on children’s mental health, and that schools can reopen safely on a regional basis in order to manager the risk of virus transmission.
“I’m putting my faith in their analysis,” one Waterloo Region resident tells CTV News. “I think it’s just best for the kids if it’s safe to do so to go back.”
Zahid Butt, a public health professor at the University of Waterloo, is suggesting officials urge on the site of caution.
“In terms of controlling the epidemic, it would be prudent to open schools in September than now,” he said. “COVID-19 is unpredictable. You can’t say with this new variant going around that there won’t be a surge of cases.”
The Waterloo Catholic School Board says they know welcoming back students will make many people please, but that they just want them to have a safe end to the school year.
A representative from the public board says they have moved between in-person and remote learning before and are confident to work in any framework as directed by the ministry.
The decision whether Ontario students could go back to the classroom could come as soon as this week.