By Saeed Akhtar, Local Journalism Initiative
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has launched Safe Schools Now, a new campaign calling on the Ford government to invest in and implement safety measures recommended by the Ontario Science Table.
“Despite having more than 18 months to develop a plan to address COVID-19 in our schools and make the investments necessary for a safe learning environment, the Ford government has refused to act, threatening in-person learning,” says OECTA President Barb Dobrowolski. They are also calling for the implementation of recommendations from the Ontario Science Table and SickKids hospital.
The Financial $12 billion in cuts forecast over the next decade according to the Financial Accountability Office (FAO).
The group is asking for the following recommendations:
- a mandatory vaccination program in schools;
- mandatory masking for all teachers, education workers, students, and visitors in schools;
- smaller class sizes to allow for proper physical distancing;
- improved ventilation, with public air quality measurements and transparency, so we know if safety standards in schools are being met;
- COVID-19 outbreak management, including robust testing and tracing;
- investments to address student learning loss and mental health concerns; and
- improved vaccination education, outreach, and accessibility.
“Catholic teachers are inviting all educators, parents, and Ontarians to join us in calling on this government to act and invest in a safe and sustainable school year,” Dobrowolski said.
To learn more about the campaign visit the Safe Schools website.