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Chaos at the TCDSB, tomorrow the protest of the parents

TORONTO – The increase in the maximum number of students per class starting from October 12 to parents just does not go down. It was precisely to express their disappointment, in the hope of blocking this decision, that for tomorrow they organized protests in front of numerous schools of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB).

After the news that the Ministry of Education, as always without making too much noise, approved an increase in class size, parents are very worried. We must do something now if we do not want this to happen was the war cry of the parents. And while for the Catholic school board of Toronto bringing the number of students up to 31 automatically translates into a lower number of teachers and therefore into a saving of salaries to be paid, parents are anxious about the risk represented by Covid-19.

Masks, ventilation of the rooms and physical distancing are just some of the guidelines indicated by doctors as effective for the prevention of infections. Fewer students per class would therefore be desirable not only for reasons of better teaching and greater student-teacher interaction: in the midst of the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, parents say in unison, it is dangerous and counterproductive. Not to mention the fact that unvaccinated children – who account for 30% of new cases – run great risks. It does not matter to the TCDSB that has decided to bring the number of students per class back to pre-Covid levels.

The recommendations made by the Science Advisory Table for the return to school, as far as classes are concerned, go exactly in the opposite direction to what the government has decided to undertake. “For elementary school students, class sizes should be as small as possible,” “Schools should make an additional effort to promote distancing and prevent gatherings,” reads the long list of guidelines drawn up shortly before the start of the school year. Just when Education Minister Stephen Lecce reassured everyone that this year the situation in schools would be different, everything would go smoothly. In fact, throughout the summer, the return to school of the students neither government nor school boards have worried too much.

It is a government, this Ford brand, that since the beginning of the pandemic seems to be groping, for trial and error: this is proven by the decision – certainly not dictated by health officials and much less by common sense – to behave as if the pandemic were now over. Too bad that the schools of the province prove – today the infections were 146, the total is 2,430 – that the war against Covid is not over.

And today, during the Speech from the Throne, the word Education was not spoken: once again the Ontario government confirmed that school is not one of its priorities.

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