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Manitoba Education was not prepared for pandemic but was able to respond: auditor

Manitoba's auditor general says the Education Department was not prepared for the pandemic, but responded effectively to COVID-19. Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press file photo

Manitoba’s auditor general says the province’s Education Department was not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic but managed to respond effectively.

A report from the auditor’s office says the department had not considered public health risks to schools ahead of time and had no coordinated emergency plan.

Read more: Province announces changes to COVID-19 contact tracing as students set to return Monday

The report also says the department was not prepared for a transition to remote learning.

Click to play video: 'Province announces changes to COVID-19 contact tracing as students set to return Monday' Province announces changes to COVID-19 contact tracing as students set to return Monday
Province announces changes to COVID-19 contact tracing as students set to return Monday – Jan 13, 2022

Despite that, the report says, the department was able to provide support to schools and put incident management in place.

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Read more: Manitoba schools prepare for in-class learning, new contact tracing strategy

The auditor general made eight recommendations, which include improving internet connectivity so that online learning is available across the province.

The government says it is working on improvements and points to a recent deal with Xplornet Communications to expand broadband services in 350 rural and northern communities.

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