Ontario launches online education program for students as schools remain closed

Mar 20 2020, 4:58 pm

The Province of Ontario announced a new education program that will be available online for students to use at home while schools are cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, said the program, called Learn at Home, will be launched immediately.

The program will provide parents and families with educational material in English and French.

“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 Premier Ford in a statement. “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 work will offer curriculums for Grade K to 12 and offer lessons for basics like reading, writing, math, and science skills. There will also be certified tutors available through TVO.

High school students will have course work with an emphasis on STEM education, the Minister added.

“Students will have access to courses to extend learning through independent study,” Lecce said during the press conference.

For students who do not have access to a computer, the province said they are working in conjunction with school boards, to provide the necessary technology to students who are in need.

TVO Kids also offers educational programming throughout the day for school-aged children.

While Ontario schools are cancelled for the two weeks following March Break, Ford said for parents to be prepared for the closures to be longer given the constantly changing situations.

Ford also said for families to avoid playgrounds or parents setting up playdates with their children so promote the importance of social distancing.

Earlier this week, Lecce announced that all standardized testing has been cancelled for the school year, specifically EQAO testing.

For now, all Ontario schools are closed until April 5.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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