May 9th, 2020

NDP Education critic pans Lecce memo

TORONTO — NDP Education critic Marit Stiles released the following statement in response to a memo from Education Minister Stephen Lecce regarding “synchronous learning,” or video conferencing.

“I was incredibly disappointed to read Minister Stephen Lecce’s memo criticizing the ‘inconsistent uptake’ of video conference classes. Parents, teachers and kids are doing an exceptional job keeping the learning going at home. Teachers are coming up with innovative ways to support kids’ learning, and the difficult social impacts of isolation. Parents are managing the incredibly difficult challenge of parenting, supporting learning and working from home, all at the same time, often while dealing with additional anxiety and other pressures.

The Ford government and Stephen Lecce have not provided devices or funding, nor has he listened to front line educators, students and parents. Lecce should know that many families don’t have devices at home, or are sharing a device with working parents and siblings. Many still don’t have adequate access to broadband. He should also know that for many kids with learning challenges video conferencing is not going to work, and that there are families with legitimate privacy and security concerns.

I’d urge Lecce to stop scolding parents, teachers and kids, and instead recognize and celebrate the incredible things they’re already accomplishing in these challenging times.”