The NDP opposition has presented a plan that they believe will make schools safer with the rise in COVID cases.
Education Critic Sarah Hoffman says one of the points in their plan is on improving ventilation systems in schools.
“We are calling for HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to be installed in schools and CO2 monitors so we can make sure that we’re keeping track of where ventilation is the poorest quality. We want to improve HVAC systems. Another one is around making sure that students and staff have access to high quality masks. Most research has shown that some people use N95s to reduce the risks.”
Hoffman says some other parts of their plan include more funding for substitute teachers to help with staffing levels and hiring mental health counselors for every school.
She says while their plan isn’t “inexpensive”, it is doable for the province.
“The government has the potential to bulk buy things like N95 masks to get a really good price for all Albertans and to make sure that they’re accessible. We know that a lot of things in rural and remote communities just aren’t. If the government wants to keep schools open, one of things they can do is make sure that students and staff have the proper PPE to keep themselves as safe as possible.”
We had Hoffman on the Trending 55 Hot Seat, you can hear the full discussion below.
– Kyle Moore, Trending 55 Newsroom