MONTREAL, March 23, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – The Legault government’s announcement that secondary III, IV and V students would be resuming full-time school in red zones starting March 29 was met with baffled astonishment by QPAT and the teachers it represents. For several months now, Quebec schools have been one of the main sources of COVID-19 spread, a trend which seems to be accelerating with the arrival of new variants in the last few weeks. Recent data shows that young people with new strains of the virus are more likely to transmit the disease and are also more contagious.
To ensure the health and safety of front-line teachers, their students and their families, QPAT has been asking for months for strengthened measures to be implemented in our schools, such as physical distancing and the use of rapid tests, in addition to repeatedly denouncing the government’s inaction on the issue of ventilation.
“I cannot believe that, in the current context, the Quebec government and public health are making such a hasty and irresponsible decision that will put teachers and students at even greater risk of contracting the virus. Once again, teachers feel they are being dismissed by their government,” said Heidi Yetman, APEQ-QPAT President. This decision is all the more worrisome for teachers, as more and more of them are being infected with COVID-19 and/or affected by the closure of classes or entire schools, which has become increasingly common in recent weeks, with all the disadvantages that brings.
Since the beginning of the school year, teachers have worked tirelessly to adapt their courses, while focusing on their students’ well-being. In doing so, they have been able to establish a routine and provide some form of educational stability. There is no justification at this time for making changes that could once again affect the stability of the school environment.
QPAT is requesting that this decision be reconsidered as soon as possible, in the best interest of education staff, students and their families, and to avoid a complete and prolonged closure of our schools.
SOURCE Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers