NDP calls for clear back-to-school plan; mandatory vaccines

With two weeks to go before Saskatchewan students are back in school, the NDP are calling on the province to lay out a clear plan on how to keep students in school.

NDP Education Critic Carla Beck says as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the province needs to prioritize the health and safety of staff and students.

She says it’s unacceptable to have everything up in the air this close to the start of the school year.

“The Government has essentially taken the summer off, and it appears they’re sitting on their hands as case numbers continue to rise across the province,” said Beck. “And as we’re on the cusp of the fourth wave with a variant that behaves very differently with children.”

Beck says school divisions are hearing conflicting advice from different health professionals, and it’s up to the province to send one clear message.

“Parents, students, and teachers all deserve to start the school year confident that a plan is in place to keep our students safe, and to keep everyone in our schools safe,” said Beck. “We, again, are saying that this government needs to step up and provide that guidance.”

The NDP are calling for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate amongst all school staff before October 1st, increase vaccine eligibility to all children born in 2009, and host in-school vaccination clinics.

She says everyone in the province would agree that a school year without disruptions is the best option for everyone.

She says she was upset last year when there was no plan at the beginning of August, to be here this year with no plan in the middle of August is just disheartening.

“To not have a plan two weeks before school starts, as a parent, as a community member, it leaves me angry, it leaves me frustrated,” said Beck. “And I know I share that with many parents, and many in the sector, many who work in our schools.”

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