Chris Selley: School choice is a better way than the public-school pandemic panic


Many consider that the back-to-school plan is not adequate for its purpose. On the other hand, there are those who point out that COVID-19 almost never kills children, however, everyone is really concerned about who children can transmit the virus to, whether they are teachers, parents, grandparents.

Related to that, headlines like “Doug Ford is Risking the Safety of Our Children by Trying to Save Money” are scattered across the media landscape. And it is that the death of the second Canadian under the age of 20 due to COVID-19, an apparently healthy 19-year-old who lived near Montreal, was reported last month as a “dark first” and probably a sign of what it will come, given rising infection rates among younger Canadians.

Now, it should be noted that it could certainly be said that COVID-19 is not only relievingly non-lethal to children but is in fact remarkably so.

Strong figures

It is necessary to bring up the fact that, of the almost 11,000 cases contracted by Canadians under the age of 19, two have died. While only 151 have been hospitalized. Likewise, in New York City, which provides an unusually detailed demographic breakdown of its dire total of 231,000 COVID-19 cases and 19,000 deaths, a total of 12 people under the age of 18 have died. Of those, 11 had the kind of pre-existing conditions that required caution in any setting, in many cases not even sending them to school.

Without a doubt, there is no denying that Canadian provinces’ back-to-school plans are not as ambitious as those in Denmark or Norway, which led the way in reducing class sizes. Likewise, surely no Canadian jurisdiction comes close to the Danish or Norwegian models. The new Democratic governor of British Columbia faces similar charges of parsimony and lack of ambition, as do the liberal governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

In this way, it is necessary to say that from the perspective of Ontario, specifically, it has been interesting to observe how parents from other provinces have dealt with their discontent. Being that news reports from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Ontario suggest that there has been a significant increase in interest in private schools, mainly due to the smaller class sizes offered by many, but also because many parents were not satisfied with the online education programming half of your local audience. schools offered.

Source: Chris Selley | National Post

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