Canada

Education advocates in York Region call for an end to hybrid learning

BARRIE, ONT. —
A large crowd gathered in Newmarket Saturday, calling on the province to end its hybrid learning model for the upcoming school year.

The education advocacy group York Communities for Public Education hosted ‘ChalkTalk at Riverwalk’ outside the Newmarket Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Parents and students present are fighting for a return to full-time in-person learning in September, saying the split between online and in-person learning is not functional.

“Generally, there’s too many different things going on at the same time that the teacher cannot handle, and they cannot deal with each student and their needs as required,” says Sandra Huh, a parent who is part of the organizing group. “As a result, the level of education goes down, not at the fault of the teacher but because of the way the model has been proposed to families.”

Instead of waving signs and shouting chants, the group used chalk to write their messages of concern on the sidewalks near the market.

“Hybrid hurts kids,” says Milena, a student entering Grade 10. “The teacher’s attention is always split between the in-person kids, the online kids; nobody can connect with their peers, with their teachers. It’s hurting everybody involved.”

Huh says she’s pleased that the catholic board in York Region has said they won’t pursue hybrid learning in elementary schools. She’s hoping that will be carried over through to secondary schools as well.

Milena says that while everyone at her school was doing their best to make the last year as smooth as possible, hybrid learning created many gaps.

“It’s a very different learning experience than any that I’ve ever had, and though we’re moving through our education, there’s really not much that’s been learned by students.” 


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