This winter, the CCRC was pleased to have Joie Chow, a third year law student at the University of Toronto, join us to write a paper on right to education and the pandemic.
Joie states that the changes in learning methods caused by COVID-19 have had a detrimental effect on the right to education for some students, a right that should be guaranteed to children under both international obligations, under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and domestic law obligations, under the Education Act in Ontario.
The paper explores how student health has been affected during COVID-19, as well as how Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour (BIPOC) have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Joie concludes by offering some recommendations for moving forward. In accordance with Articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Ontario Education Act, it is crucial that the differential effects of COVID-19 on different sub-populations are adequately addressed and assessed to ensure that all students can achieve the right to education. Students should be educated and aware of their rights so that they have the resources and knowledge to speak up about them. Finally, it is recommended that school boards have an ombudsperson and additional counseling staff to advocate for students and help those who are struggling.
You can find her paper here:July Right to Education Commentary (by a U of T law student)