Teachers frustrated with new directive to check in daily with quarantined students
Some teachers say they are now being told they have to check in with students who end up having to stay home due to COVID - and at least one union is frustrated by the new directive from the Quebec education ministry.
Up until now, individual students who had COVID or had to stay home to self-isolate while waiting for test results were left on their own and given homework for the entire period.
"So now the government has put in a new directive saying if a child is absent for more than two days, they need follow-up," said Heidi Yetman, president of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers. "Now we're asking teachers to go above and beyond and contact these students on a daily basis and to provide work for them."
Only students who were isolating in their class bubbles were getting regular follow-ups or online learning everyday.
"I don't know how we're going to manage it. And that's my fear is that teachers are already totally overwhelmed with work. I don't even know when they're going to do this," said Yetman in an interview with CJAD 800.
"I don't know where teachers are going to find time to do this, they're so overwhelmed and on the edge of burning out."
Katherine Korakakis, president of the English Parents Committee Association said it's good news because the old system wasn't working.
"This is what we're hearing from parents because it becomes a gap in learning," said Korakakis.
The education ministry is reportedly changing the system to have ministerial exams for Secondary IV and V students this year count for 20% instead of 50%. Yetman said it's a good move but doesn't know if teachers will be able to get through the curriculum fast enough so students are ready.