Education Minister Rob Fleming says the NDP government will have a plan in place to resume school in September within the next three weeks. (File photo)

Liberals push NDP for fall school reopening plan

Local Liberal MLA says NDP government committed to plan being unveiled before Aug. 4

The BC Liberals feel trying to get information out of B.C.’s education minister on the plan for reopening schools in September has been an unnecessary frustration.

The Liberals point to back-to-school plans already unveiled for Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan while B.C.’s provincial government has remained silent.

But this week in Question Period, Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick says the Liberals manage to budge the NDP cone of silence on what parents, students and teachers can expect to see when classes resume in September.

Letnick says there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiousness among parents trying to figure out if their children will be back in class, and if not what will distant learning look like.

“We pushed the education minister in Question Period to tell us why a plan isn’t in place for B.C. like for other provinces, and will it be done far enough ahead of the start of the new school year so parents can make decisions,” Letnick said.

Read more: Province consider closing schools after spring break

Read more: COVID-19 generates cost savings for school district

“We had sent the education minister a letter on June 6 asking he deliver an education plan no later than Aug. 4, and he basically shrugged it off.

“This minister has a habit of doing that. Other education ministers in the past tended to be more collaborative, but this particular minister tends to be quite partisan.”

Coming out of Question Period, Education Minister Rob Fleming committed to having an education plan released to the public within the next three weeks.

Letnick acknowledged that Fleming has stated a commitment limited to K-7 classes to resume in September.

“I certainly hear about this issue within my social circle, but at this point, we are not getting a lot of calls from parents at my constituency office as of yet. But it’s definitely a top-of-mind issue for parents, grandparents and certainly teachers as well.”

Letnick said bringing some students back to class on a limited basis last month was a useful step, offering some insight to teachers and school administrators what worked and didn’t work under the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“I think it reinforced the different ways students learn. Some do well in the classroom, some learn better from home, so we have to remain flexible so all our kids can learn in a safe environment,” he said.

“That’s why distance learning programs remain important, especially for those kids who are immunity compromised. So let’s get the plan out there so parents can make some important decisions.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna Fire and Rescue gear up for annual ‘Fire in the Mountains’ initiative

WKPF is offering one individual the opportunity to spend up to 3 days with their firefighter hero’s hiking or paddling in one of BC’s pristine wilderness environments

Kelowna’s Sutherland Salvation Army thrift store closes permanently

The location has been facing challenges amid COVID-19

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Drowning incidents increase in Okanagan as summer picks up

There are now 23 drownings in the province to date, with four from the Okanagan

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Most Read