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Schools aren’t safe or ready for reopening

  • September 02, 2020
  • Published by NSTU1

NSTU President Paul Wozney says schools are currently in a state of chaos and aren’t ready to welcome students back next week. He says the Regional Centres for Education (RCEs) and the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial (CSAP) are entirely focused on trying to promote the government’s unsafe return to school plan to the public. As a result the basic things that should take place on the ground to prepare schools for learning just aren’t happening.

“While teachers are in their classrooms preparing for the arrival of their students under impossible circumstances, education entities are busy tweeting photos of signs and floor decals,” says Wozney. “Meanwhile with just two business days until the arrival of students, ventilation systems have yet to be inspected or fixed, windows still don’t open, safe drinking water is not available, proper handwashing stations with soap and running water have not been installed, and hallways are filled with old furniture.”

This afternoon on behalf of the NSTU Provincial Executive, Wozney sent a letter to Education Minister Zach Churchill requesting that the school year be reorganized and Professional Development days be reallocated to the start of the school year to allow teachers, administrators and school staff additional time to sort out the turmoil they’ve been presented with by the government.

“Without smaller class sizes and proper physical distancing schools won’t adhere to public health guidelines in place for other workplaces. By also exposing students to the disorder that presently exists in most schools it could also negatively impact their ability to learn under new and unproven conditions.”

He adds, “In the middle of a global pandemic we cannot afford to reopen schools in a manner that is rushed or ill prepared. If the government fails to take the necessary steps, the NSTU will file a policy grievance regarding the breach of the province’s duty to ensure a safe learning and teaching environments for students and teachers.”