PE Ledger

Omicron wave growing pressure in P.E.I. schools say Opposition


Key takeaways: 

  • Problems were raised regarding the current sustainability of the education system with a climb in cases.
  • P.E.I. Education Minister Natalie Jameson states the omicron wave has been the most brutal time the education system has met.

Omicron surge in P.E.I. affecting schools: 

Approximately 150 staff were missing from P.E.I. public schools on Tuesday.

Education Minister Natalie Jameson described the legislature in answer to a query from Opposition education analyst Lynne Lund on Tuesday afternoon. 

Jameson says staff from the Public Schools Branch (PSB) and Commission scolaire de langue française worked to load all vacancies until midnight Monday.

“This is the most difficult time we’ve had as an education system,” Jameson stated.

“We’re four days away from the March holiday. Everybody will require a deep breath and some fresh air … but we are gaining through this. We haven’t had to shut down any schools.”

Also read: Food banks ‘overjoyed’ as PEI potato shipments restart

Omicron wave hitting schools says educational system

And while no schools have shut down, Lund stated she still has problems with the high absence rates. It’s the second time she’s raised the case in the previous week.

“The health-care system isn’t the sole system we have to be anxious about overwhelming. We are listening from teachers, we are hearing from educational associates, we are hearing from individuals all through the school system who are very nervous,” Lund said in an interview after the sale in question period.

“We are hearing of autism advisors who are being drawn from their work. We are hearing from occupational therapists who are being removed from helping students, from speech pathologists, from psychologists who are being advised to withdraw appointments with students so they can go sub.”

Absence rates up again

As of Tuesday’s reported numbers, about 1 in 36 Islanders currently have COVID-19. 

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