Last week CTV News posted an article entitled “Back to school: A look at the COVID-19 rules in place across provinces, territories” that included the following categories for most provinces and territories:
- Masks and other safety guidelines
- What qualifies as an outbreak
- When to stay home
- School activities
- Virtual school
As the final item is the one most relevant to this space, that is the only one we’ll focus on. When it comes to what the author referred to as “virtual school,” here are the details that were provided:
Virtual school: Online classes are offered.
Virtual school: Online learning will be available with specific school boards throughout the province. An online learning directory breaks down what kind of programs are offered in different regions and school boards across the province.
Virtual school: While the province says in-class learning is best and is a priority, there will be remote learning support for teachers and students “when and where needed.”
Virtual school: Remote learning will remain an option for families who wish to continue with online classes, but the province emphasized that its focus was on the return to in-person learning.
That was it… Beyond the fact that the media are still confounding more traditional instances of online learning, e-learning, and/or distance learning with remote learning, it was shocking how much what excluded. The existence of province-wide supplemental programs that have been in operation for two decades in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The resources and courses offered to the English language community in Quebec by LEARN. The 27 different traditional distance education and online learning programs that served over 22,000 students in Saskatchewan during the 2020-21 school year. The continued growth of online and blended learning programs in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. None of these online learning opportunities were included, which would give readers/viewed of CTV News the impression that there were no online options and no planning for remote learning in any of these jurisdictions – save the four provinces quoted above!