At the advice of the chief provincial public health officer, Manitoba is suspending classroom learning for kindergarten to Grade 12 students indefinitely for this school year to help ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the impact of COVID-19 throughout the province, Premier Brian Pallister and Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“We must do everything we can to flatten the COVID curve and protect the health and well-being of all Manitobans,” said Pallister. “The decision to suspend classroom learning in school indefinitely for this school year is the easiest decision to make because it protects our children and their education – it is the right thing to do.”
The suspension of in-school classes follows the province’s announcement on March 13 that they would be suspended at all kindergarten to Grade 12 schools through April 10. This new step to extend the suspension is being taken with the interests of students, educators and all Manitobans in mind, the premier noted.
No student will be held back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but students must actively engage in learning. All students on track to graduate will do so. Teachers will teach remotely, assign work, conduct assessments and prepare final report cards. For students in Grade 12, provincial exams will be cancelled, but teacher assessments will be implemented. For students in early and middle years, provincial assessments are complete for the current school year, but other assessments will continue.
“The efforts and success Manitoba teachers and educators have displayed during this public health pandemic have been inspiring,” said Goertzen. “I join all Manitobans in asking educators to continue doing all they can to use remote and innovative methods to teach students through the remainder of this school year. Our government is asking for an all-hands-on-deck approach, with their assistance and with that of parents, caregivers, principals, trustees and superintendents for the benefit of all students.”
Child-care centres located in schools will continue to operate under the current conditions set out by the chief provincial public health officer. The overall plan is oriented toward the future and we will learn how to modernize education through our response to this situation, Goertzen said. The combined efforts are geared toward the reopening of classrooms, as well as toward multifaceted ways to teach and to learn after COVID-19, he added.
The province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer and encourages all Manitobans to engage in good social distancing protocols, including practising the 3Ps – protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community. For more information visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.