New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

In the midst of strike, parents in New Brunswick criticise an online learning

Key sentence:

  • The online learning approach introduced when members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees walked off the job.
  • Haley Jones has 3 kids, one of whom is autistic. She explained that she struggled with homeschooling while pursuing her education.

The online learning approach introduced when members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees walked off the job, and the government shut them out isn’t working, according to parents in New Brunswick.

At the start of the epidemic, the online learning approach was born out of need, but it was pushed on parents and students due to the strike.

However, many parents claim that it is ineffective and causes a great deal of stress.

Dominic Cardy, the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, apologised to parents on Wednesday.

“I’m sad that, on top of COVID, we’re dealing with this strike, and I hope it can be handled as soon as possible,” he said.

Haley Jones has 3 kids, one of whom is autistic. She explained that she struggled with homeschooling while pursuing her education, so she reluctantly enrolled them in school.

They’re back home now, but not by her choice. But, on the other hand, she refuses to accept the minister’s or the government’s apology.

“He told us that online learning wasn’t an option when it came to keeping our kids safe,” she added, “but when it’s convenient for them, it happens in a day.”

Jones is not the one who feels this way.

Also read: As border reopens, residents of New Brunswick are not rushing to visit

Kyle Stoddard’s daughter started kindergarten this year, and while he considers himself fortunate to be able to finance his child’s education, he wishes the government had prepared better.

He believes that the most affected individuals are being overlooked in the politics and economics of the situation.

“I don’t think people are the main focus here; there’s a lot of money talk.” There’s a lot of talk about the bottom line, which I know isn’t how these people feel… But I’m sure there are some things that get overlooked,” he continued.

He claims that his child’s after-school programme offered to care for her throughout the day, but he understands that many others are not lucky.

For many, he argued, it could even be a financial obstacle.

Maxim Beauregard-Dionne has five children, one of whom has special needs, and she claims she can’t concentrate for a long time, particularly when using screens. 

He explained that while they have a learning plan in place for her, it isn’t as simple as leaping in with both feet.

He stated that his daughter requires the assistance of an educational aide. However, according to Beauregard-Dionne, his daughter also likes the social part of the school, which she now completely misses out on.

“My daughter wants to go to school to meet people, so for the first few days of the lockout, she was waking up at 6:30 a.m. and saying, ‘Bus, bus,’ and we were like, ‘No, not today,’ which was more frustrating,” he added.

He, too, says he is uninterested in an apology from the education minister, claiming that the government cannot be blamed for the scenario is created.

Jenna Morton, a Salisbury mother of three, says her children are doing well in the online learning programme because of the help they’ve received from their teachers. However, she stated that this is not the situation everywhere.

She claimed that the government had ample time to figure out a method to make this work and prepare teachers and pupils but failed to do so.

She is concerned that this will have a significant influence on children’s mental health.

Many other parents contacted Global News via social media about the issue, and common threads emerged, such as the model’s failure, the fact that it disproportionately affects children with disabilities, and the unknown consequences of this system, which many students are opting out of for various reasons.

Source from Global News

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