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Coronavirus: Graduating Quebec students to be given chance to say one last goodbye

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Celebrating a rite of passage in Quebec schools' Coronavirus: Celebrating a rite of passage in Quebec schools
WATCH: Elementary and high school students who were set to graduate this month will be able to do so in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge made the announcement on Monday. As Global's Phil Carpenter explains, this year's graduation ceremonies will be anything but typical – Jun 2, 2020

Graduating elementary and high school students in Quebec will get a chance to say one last goodbye to their friends and teachers, despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing an abrupt end to the school year for most in March.

The province’s education ministry is allowing students completing their sixth year of elementary school or their fifth year of high school the chance to participate in a “special reunion activity” to be put on by their school.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Quebec presents school reopening scenarios for the fall

In a statement, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said what that activity looks like will ultimately be up to each individual school, but it could be anything from an official photo session to an outdoor picnic, so long as it complies with public health guidelines to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

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“COVID-19 has certainly changed our habits and traditions, but that is not a reason not to salute graduating students as they deserve,” the minister said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Parti Québécois education critic weighs in province’s back-to-school plan

Roberge said schools will be expected to communicate to their students the exact “modalities” of the goodbye events they plan to put on over the weeks ahead.

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The move is the result of an online petition signed by thousands of students across Quebec in recent weeks, which also received the support of Quebec’s opposition parties.