Parents react as Toronto District School Board delays start of virtual learning – again

Published On September 24, 2020 | By Francis Commey | News
Francis Commey

A move by the Toronto District School Board this week to delay the start of virtual learning was greeted with dismay and concern by parents who spoke with Humber News.

In making the move on Tuesday, Canada’s largest school board said one of the main problems is that there is not enough teachers assigned to teach 60,000 newly-signed elementary school students.

Rose Megalo, a parent whose daughter attends a school in the TDSB, said she’s been really disappointed with how things have turned out.

“There was no class, no teacher, no material today, even the link they provided were the same instructions on how to use bright space,” Megalo said.

“I don’t know why they didn’t keep the google classroom, it was working great last year.”

The TDSB is said to be only 200 teachers short from a new school year’s normal start. The board hopes to have all new hires by the end of the week to accommodate all students.

Louis Pahis, a parent to elementary school kids in the Toronto District School Board, said online teaching has gone against what teachers have stood for when they first started teaching.

“I became a teacher because I wanted to interact with young people, and I wanted to help them on their journey,” said Pahis, who is a science teacher in the Peel District School Board.

“Not being able to teach face-to-face is not allowing teachers to understand their students, and it is not allowing them to help students properly,” he said.

“Teaching through a computer goes against everything most teachers stand for and why they entered teaching in order to have a dynamic working environment. Every day brings new challenges and experiences,” Pahis said.

Tuesday was the proposed date for the first day of school for many elementary and secondary students in the TDSB, but the school board has pushed it back another day.

Pahis said online schooling is not even possible with his own kids who are ages six, nine and 11 years old.

“They need constant supervision because of their ages, so it restricts what you can do on your at home as well,” Pahis said. “It’s made life harder because parents were trying to work from home while trying to teach their own kids.”

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