Sask. NDP frustrated with school reopening plan

Saskatchewan NDP Education Critic Carla Beck did not mince words as she reacted to the provincial government’s plan to reopen schools in the fall.

“The minister has managed to come up with the worst plan in Canada, despite all of the extra time, and the ability to learn from the plans of other provinces,” said Beck. “I am upset, I’m angry, and I won’t accept this as a plan for schools reopening in the fall.”

Beck says that since the plan was unveiled, she has received call after call from parents who are concerned about sending their kids back to school.

Unlike other provinces, the use of masks wasn’t outlined in Saskatchewan’s plan. The government cited the omission as a way to help school “be as normal as possible”.

She says that, with Saskatchewan being the last province to lay out their plan, she was hoping for more.

“I expected better than this, I didn’t expect to have all of the concerns addressed, but I did expect that we would see a plan that was markedly different than the one we saw in June,” said Beck. “When in fact, what we see today contains no additional details and no reassurance from the plan that we saw in June, and that is deeply disappointing.”

Some of the things that Beck would have liked to have seen in the plan would be additional funding for staffing and cleaning supplies, smaller class sizes, and funding for additional busing.

Beck adds that the plan takes a reactive approach to COVID-19, where she would like to see a more aggressive one.

“This seems to be a plan that is setting our schools up to fail, and if and when people get sick, then we’ll look at bringing in additional measures,” said Beck. “Why don’t we do everything we can right now to set up our schools to be as safe as possible, so that we’d reduce risk of transmission.”

Schools in Saskatchewan are set to reopen on September 1st.

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