How Manitoba parents feel about their kids heading back to school in the fall
WINNIPEG -- The provincial government has released results from parents who completed a survey on back to school scenarios.
Last week, the provincial government announced students would be returning to class on September 8, and teachers would return on September 2. The province is asking school divisions to prepare for three different scenarios for learning.
The scenarios include returning to in-class learning under near-normal conditions, returning to in-class learning while taking additional public health measures into consideration, and remote learning from home with limited use of school facilities.
The survey was conducted between June 12 and 21, and saw 30,538 people respond.
According to the survey, 42 per cent of those responding felt “very comfortable” with the possibility of their children returning to in-class instruction in the fall, while 33 per cent responded “somewhat comfortable.” A total of 15 per cent responded they would be “somewhat uncomfortable” with their children returning to class, and eight per cent said they were “very uncomfortable.” A total of two per cent of people responding said they were “not sure.”
The survey also asked about different protective scenarios for children attending classes. Parents who took the survey were very comfortable with hand sanitizer (60 per cent), regular hand washing (77 per cent), and enhanced cleaning protocols (64 per cent). When asked if wearing a cloth mask as a possible, 27 per cent of those surveyed said they were “very uncomfortable,” compared to 17 per cent who were “very comfortable.”
When asked about a possible scenario where students attend a school different than their current one, 63 per cent of parents responding said they were "very uncomfortable" with the idea.
Since in-person classes were suspended in March, students have been involved with remote learning with their teachers.
But, parents surveyed said they would not be comfortable with the learning continuing in the fall, with 34 per cent saying they would be “very uncomfortable,” and 27 per cent being “somewhat uncomfortable,” compared with 14 per cent being “very comfortable.”
Half of the parents surveyed said they were not at all confident they would be able to support their children’s remote learning in the fall (if necessary) “given considerations such as work, childcare, or other obligations.” The survey also saw 50 per cent of parents surveyed said they strongly disagreed that remote learning allowed their children to build relationships with other students.
The biggest concern parents had during the time of the survey was their children missing out on learning from teachers (36 per cent), followed by their children’s mental health (20 per cent).
The full survey results can be viewed below.
-With files from CTV’s Michelle Gerwing and Danton Unger.