This is what Premier Doug Ford and his Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced during a press briefing Monday afternoon.
Teachers will continue to offer online courses.
Ford said daycare centers for infants who are not of school age will remain open, but activities will be limited. In addition, he claimed that free emergency daycares will be opened for the children of frontline workers.
This is a precautionary measure. The transmission [de COVID-19] in our schools remains weakEducation Minister Stephen Lecce said during Monday’s press briefing.
He added that his ministry would communicate with parents when face-to-face schools can reopen.
As soon as we have received the notice from [médecin hygiéniste en chef] that it is safe to open schools, we will contact parents with advance notice.
For the mayor of Toronto, John Tory, it is necessary
do everything to make sure students stay safe.
As mayor, I support Premier Ford’s decision to switch all schools to e-learning after the April recess, he mentioned in a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Ontario schools are currently on spring break.
The province is reporting 217 school-related COVID-19 cases on Monday, including 186 students, 30 staff and one unidentified person.
Right now, about 27% of Ontario’s 4,828 public schools have at least one confirmed case of the disease.
Several schools already closed
The health regions of Toronto, Peel, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and Sudbury recently made the decision to close their schools despite the provincial government’s refusal to do the same. In Sudbury, schools are online learning only since March 15.
In all four cases, the order to close the schools was due to end on Friday.
Teachers’ unions across the province are calling for a complete closure of schools for a week already. The Ministry of Education accused these unions of
sow fear in the population a few times since. Prime Minister Ford has also repeated several times that schools are
sure for students and for teachers.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce even reiterated these points in a letter sent to parents on Sunday evening.
As Premier Ford has said repeatedly, our priority remains to keep schools safe and open to classroom instruction, as learning is essential to the lifelong development and mental health of our children., can we read in the letter.
Minister should be fired, opposition says
Ontario Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca responded to the news in a press release Monday afternoon.
[Dimanche] again, Minister Lecce wrote to parents to tell them that all state-funded schools would remain open after the April recess. The next day, Doug Ford shut them down for weeks. The fighting between Doug Ford and his Minister of Education puts our children and our education workers at risk. [M.] Lecce should be fired, can we read in the press release.
For her part, the leader of the New Democratic Party of the province, Andrea Horwath, recalled that she asked that Mr. Lecce be fired
since even before the pandemic.
She said she was sorry for the parents.
This cycle of openings and closings is horrible for families and school staff, she said at a press briefing.
She also claimed that a lack of investment by Doug Ford’s government is behind the closures.
Doug Ford is directly responsible for the closure of all schools. He refused to listen to the experts and refused to invest in making schools safe. It should never have come to this. This time, he needs to invest the necessary money to make all the schools safe. The health of students, teachers and education workers is worth it, Ms. Horwath said.