Public health officers in Peel & Toronto regions have recently announced that schools in these places will be moving online. The sudden decisions may have been necessary but the mixed messages and instability is causing stress and anxiety for students and teachers. The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children has been raising the alarm on violations to the right to education during the pandemic, and we are concerned by recent actions.
Education has been impacted since day one of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Children and young people with disabilities have been particularly affected.
At this stage, children and youth need stability, and clear processes which do not seem to exist. Furthermore, too often, educators’ and children’s voices are left out of the decision-making process.
For the last 13 months, so much has been asked of kids in Canada, from disrupted school, to cancelled sports, to serious health scares for children & families alike. They have accepted restrictions on their rights and well-being in the interest of public health and the common good. We believe that they deserve the respect of not having their right to education curtailed at a moment’s notice like this.
Working to stop the spread of COVID-19 is essential, but we need to have a better way to ensure that children and young people do not pay the price. The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children calls for a clear and consistent action plan to make sure that children’s right to education is respected, and that children and teachers can feel safe inside the classroom.