Friday, 26 Feb 2021

Coronavirus: Ontario government launches online program for students out of school

The Ontario government announced the launch of a new online platform entitled, “Learn at Home” for students out of school amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Premier Doug Ford, education minister Stephen Lecce and health minister Christine Elliott made the announcement of the launch of the first phase of the endeavour at Queen’s Park on Friday.

Lecce also took the time to reassure students who were supposed to graduate this year, that no graduation will be compromised.

The minister said he is working with colleges and universities to ensure there’s “a continued application process that doesn’t get delayed” and to ultimately make sure that students are able to graduate.

“As a father myself, I know parents always want the best for their children, and I also know from speaking to parents that many are concerned that their child is going to fall behind while schools are closed during this difficult period,” said Ford.

“To support families and students, our government has developed a one-stop spot for at-home learning. It doesn’t replace school, but offers a great alternative as we approach the end of March break.”

The provincial government announced the closing of all publicly-funded schools on March 12 until at least April 6, leaving over two million students out of the classroom.

When asked about the possibility of a closure extension, Lecce said him and Elliott are in constant contact with Ontario health officials and will announce that decision if advised to do so.

The government then proceeded to cancel all EQAO testing, as well.

Learn at Home provides math and literacy content created by Ontario educators and will be provided in both English and French.

“Elementary resources are designed to help young students learn at home with interactive activities that encourage participation through entertaining and stimulating digital content,” a released said Friday.

“High school content was designed with a focus on STEM courses and ensure core competencies and skills are reinforced.”

For students who do not have access to a computer, the government said “work is underway” to get them the necessary technology they need.

The ministry of education is also working with the ministry-run TVO and TFO broadcast channels to create “robust education programming,” as well. The government said that too will be a “phased-in” approach and will begin Monday, which is when March Break was scheduled to end.

Ontario currently has 301 active cases of coronavirus with five cases resolved and two deaths.

The at-home activities offered by Learn at Home provide quick and easy access to some of
Ontario’s best online kindergarten to grade 12 learning resources produced by Ontario College of
Teachers (OCT) Educators.

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