Extension of the school break: Quebec puts the cart before the horse, says the opposition

Extending the holiday school break to offer quarantine to children before their return to class will be of no use if they end up in day care services, as the Prime Minister, François Legault, believes, the opposition believes.

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For the education spokespersons of the three minority parties in the National Assembly, the Legault government should first make sure to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in schools as Christmas approaches.

“We put the cart before the horse. We talk about Christmas, we talk about January, but on Monday I arrived at my elementary school and I have five classes which are confined. Can we first manage this week and those to come, ”said Liberal MP Marwah Rizqy, who is taking advantage of the parliamentary business break to act as a substitute.

According to the latter, buying Co2 detectors and air purifiers would be “the best Christmas present” that the Prime Minister, François Legault, could give to the education network. This is a demand repeatedly expressed by the opposition in Quebec in recent weeks in the hope of reducing air contamination in schools in the province.

For the solidarity Christine Labrie, the government has not demonstrated that the extension of the school break would be beneficial.

“From the moment we open daycare, the children will have to be paired together in groups that combine several bubble-classes together. So that comes a little to thwart the objective that they are in quarantine longer, ”she said.

Her colleague at the Parti Québécois, Véronique Hivon, said she had received many calls from worried parents and asked to hear the opinion of public health.

“It seems a priori difficult to pass the test of logic, that’s why it will take the opinions of public health to know: what is different in a day care service versus a classroom” , did she say.

The three spokespersons also agree that Quebec must consult daycare educators if it goes ahead with this extension of school vacations.

They received the government’s proposal as a “slap in the face” since it would considerably increase their workload.

“After the three additional pedagogical days announced [plus tôt dans l’année] without any consideration for the staff and the overload of work that will be caused to it, the government is adding another layer with the extension of the school break. The support staff are exhausted, when will they finally listen to us? ” protested the president of the school sector of the Federation of Public Service Employees (FEESP-CSN), Annie Charland.

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