Education Media release

Press release: Schools aren’t safe or ready for reopening

For immediate release

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.” 

2 Comments

  1. The Nova Scotia back to school plan is not good enough. When the chief medical doctor for public health expects cases of Covid 19, Nova Scotians need to stand together and say one cases is too many.
    There are measures that have been put in place to protect against and PREVENT Covid from spreading in other setting. We need to put the same measures in place in our schools. Seems pretty simple to me. Smaller class sizes so physical distancing is possible. Mandatory masks for all. Board of Education can do better…
    Let’s look at other provinces back to school plans hummmm smaller class sizes all round and more safety measures than Nova Scotia…shame on the board of education and public health.
    Oh I am curious are the board offices open and working at pre Covid capacity or are some office staff still working from home so they can physical distance.

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