NEW WESTMINSTER— Post-secondary students across British Columbia are hopeful for the chance to safely return to campus this Fall. Most students at colleges, universities, and institutes across the province have been learning online since the pandemic began last March.
Today Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health officer, advised that institutions be prepared for a full return to on-campus education this September. This is a hopeful sign for the majority of students who have been off campus for the last year.
Students have been disproportionately affected by the COVID–19 pandemic. Without the resources and supports offered by employers to remote workers, students have struggled to adapt to an online learning environment while managing the increased health, employment and personal financial precarity caused by the pandemic.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news to so many students who have struggled to be successful in an untested online learning environment, while managing the health, safety and economic realities of the pandemic,” said Tanysha Klassen, Chairperson of the BC Federation of Students, “we welcome the opportunity to engage with public health officials and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to ensure that the return to school is a positive experience for the entire post-secondary system.”
In June, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training assembled a cross-section of representatives from public post-secondary institutions to prepare the Go-Forward Guidelines, designed to help BC’s post-secondary sector operate safely during the pandemic. The BC Federation of Students participated in this consultation and was pleased with the resulting guidelines, which were released last July.
“Students are eager to return to the classrooms so long as it is safe to do so,” said Klassen, “I and the BC Federation of Students are optimistic that student’s needs will continue to be taken into account every step of the way.”
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