Saskatchewan NDP Education Critic Carla Beck criticized today’s education update by Sask. Party Education Minister Gord Wyant as the worst plan in Canada. Other governments have provided detailed plans - what the Sask. Party has released today is what other governments provided months ago as a starting point in their planning.
“Our Saskatchewan NDP team has spent months talking to educators, health professionals and families,” said Beck. “There is a massive gap between what they are telling us needs to happen and what we see today from this Sask. Party government. What Gord Wyant has produced is not a plan for schools - it is a plan to fail the test of protecting students, families and education professionals.”
Last week the NDP laid out seven recommendations in its back-to-school plan. The government is failing Saskatchewan families and leaving more questions than answers on class size, mask use, testing and tracing for COVID-19 in schools and plans for immuno-compromised students and teachers, and those with immuno-compromised family members.
Beck noted that COVID-19 testing in Saskatchewan continues to trail behind the national rate - with only 688 tests conducted yesterday. This makes the need for smaller classes, clear mask guidelines and proper funding crucial to a successful schools re-opening strategy.
“Prior to this pandemic, classrooms were already overcrowded and understaffed – those huge issues are still not addressed,” Beck said. “It is inexcusable that the government has had this long to prepare and has made no effort to reduce class sizes or take seriously the conversation on masks that is happening around the country. The Premier and his Education Minister are failing this important test - and leaving families flying blind with a month to go before school resumes.”