Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Statement from OECTA President Liz Stuart on “Synchronous Learning”

“It is disappointing that the government continues to disregard the input of professional, frontline teachers. Our Association has been trying to work collaboratively with the Ministry of Education, to help respond to the COVID-19 emergency in a way that respects students’ diverse learning needs. Most especially, we have conveyed to them the many equity, privacy, and security issues that are created with the use of live video or audio.

The conditions created by this global pandemic are not normal, and it does not help anyone for the government to insist that teachers can somehow replicate the regular classroom experience. The bottom line is that many students and teachers do not have sufficient access to technology, appropriate living situations, and/or compatible family circumstances that would allow for safe, consistent use of so-called ‘synchronous learning.’ This is why our Association has advised members to use their professional judgment and consider the many other methods available to help students develop knowledge and skills during the school closures.

Catholic teachers remain fully committed to helping students and families make the most of emergency distance learning. To this end, we will continue encouraging the government to acknowledge the realities of the situation and respect the perspectives of the trained professionals who are doing our best to help students succeed.”

Liz Stuart, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association