Even if he is not sure, Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge says he is “very confident” that primary and secondary school students will return to school on January 17. Here are the key actions announced Wednesday in light of the re-entry in full swing for Omicron.
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As was the case before Christmas, each student will receive a new box of five express tests once they return to school, then the second box in February. Thus, about 7.2 million self-tests will be distributed to students over a two-month period.
Unlike the general population, school staff will be added to essential workers with access to PCR testing, starting January 15. They can also bring forward the vaccination date for the third dose.
The Ministry’s exams that were scheduled to take place at the beginning of last January, have been postponed to the weeks of January 24 and 31. The first bulletin will also be postponed for two weeks, i.e. February 11. “It’s good news. We will take the time to do things right instead of wasting time,” says Jose Scalabrine, president of the Confederation of Education Unions.
But for parents, this is not good news. “The newsletter is the main tool for communicating with parents. I know parents who have not received any feedback from teachers since the beginning of the year,” said Kevin Roy of the Federation of Parents’ Committees of Quebec.
Hear the reaction of Marwa Rezgui, the official anti-education critic:
By Friday, more than half (54%) of CO2 readers will have delivered to schools, including all classes that have been targeted as priority due to poor ventilation. The process should be completed by 100% of the classes in February, Mr. Robertage estimates. Originally, readers were scheduled to be installed in all schools by the end of December. When the air quality is poor, the main solution is to open the windows. The minister added that hundreds of air exchanges have been distributed and others can be requested upon request.
This is the end of daily reports of the number of positive cases in schools. Now that the virus is practically endemic and PCR tests are reserved only for certain groups of people, public health can no longer rely on the number of new cases to assess the situation, explains Dr. Horacio Arruda. From now on, experts will build on hospitalization trends and work on developing a self-advertising platform. “In education, we will have to adapt” to this new method, says Mr. Robertage.
Further actions have been announced
- Blue surgical mask at all times in school
- Students are entitled to have more than two masks per day
- No N95 mask for teachers
- School day care services may be exceptionally available for children of some non-essential workers.
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