More Canadian students opt for virtual classes due to COVID-19 surge, means more reorganization of classes
Toronto/IBNS: The rapid surge in COVID-19 cases by some Canadian provinces in just a few weeks after the start of the school year, had forced a large number of families to consider a switch from in-person to virtual learning where it's offered, media reports said.
With school boards across the country still working to entangle the problematic situation of online classes including the assignment of teachers and reorganization of classrooms, the enrolment of numerous more students for online studies would likely mean more reorganization of classes later this fall.
Registration of more than 70,000 students out roughly 250,000 students, of the Toronto District School Board, Canada's largest, with virtual school this fall had already been delayed twice.
Shelley Morse, president of the Canadian Teachers' Federation said that availability of teachers and substitute teachers in regions across the country had been an issue even before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Gaps have existed, and provinces and territories haven't addressed it appropriately. One of the issues is that the pay is significantly less for a substitute than a regular classroom teacher...we've talked about a second wave ever since March, the work wasn't done to make sure that teachers were in place, that they entice more teachers to come. [Education ministries] could have raised that pay for this pandemic time to allow [more substitute] teachers to come back to school and do that work," reported CBC News.
Some students and teachers are being matched up just this week.
"It is an absolute mess," Elementary Teachers of Toronto president Jennifer Brown said of the virtual school start so far.
"We have had half-time teachers being given full-time assignments. We've had students registered for classes without a teacher or, vice-versa, a teacher registered for a class with no accompanying student... We have also had specialty programs that don't have the teachers with the specialty qualifications lined up. It's an administrative nightmare," CBC News reported.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)