‘It is a waste of time’: B.C.’s decision to delay return to school receives mixed reaction

The B.C. government has delayed the start of the school year. The delay will allow for the province to better assess the impact of the Omicron variant. Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press file photo

The B.C. government has delayed the start of the school year in response to rising COVID-19 cases. Teachers, staff and children with specials needs or children of health care workers can go back to school next week, but everyone else will start on Jan. 10.

Global News spoke to parents in Kelowna, who expressed mixed reactions towards the delay.

Read more: B.C. delaying start of school until Jan. 10 for most K to 12 students

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“Well, it is nothing that we haven’t dealt with before,” said one parent.

“There will be some challenges coordinating who will look after them when we are working from home, but we will get through it.”

Another parent told Global News that he feels as though this “is a waste of time.”

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Click to play video: 'Delay in return to school for most B.C. students'
Delay in return to school for most B.C. students

Kyenta Martins, with Safe Schools Coalition, disagrees and feels like the extra week won’t be enough.

“We are really glad that there is a delayed start, it unfortunately is not enough. With the transmissibility of Omicron, we still really need to be careful about packing students and staff into a classroom,” said Martins.

School officials say they are thankful for the push but are aware of the position this puts some parents in.

“It is unfortunate. I realize that this is a tremendous inconvenience for a ton of parents and that is regrettable,” said Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association president, Susan Bauhart.

“However, on behalf of teachers we appreciate the time to bring back a lot of the safety precautions that have been left in the last few months. All with the intent of keeping our schools as safe as possible and open as long as possible.”

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When school does return, safety measures will include staggered starts and breaks, virtual staff meetings and the pausing of extra-curricular activities.

The province plans to develop further safety measures, which are expected to be implemented before Jan. 10.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 transmission and preventive measures'
COVID-19 transmission and preventive measures

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