Less than half of parents across British Columbia are planning on sending their kids back to school this fall, according to a new survey.
In a recently released study from Leger, only 40 per cent of B.C. parents have plans to send their children to the classroom – a number that is far lower than the national mark of 59 per cent of parents.
More significantly, British Columbians are largely undecided on the topic surrounding schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 48 per cent of parents surveyed in British Columbia suggested that they were undecided on the matter at this time. The percentage of undecided parents were the most in British Columbia of any province by a significant mark, coming in 19 points higher than the next (Manitoba/Saskatchewan).
Across Canada, the average of parents who were unsure about sending their kids back to school is 23 per cent, while 18 per cent are planning on keeping their children home.
The recent Leger survey also looked at measures that parents hope to see when schools return in September.
The majority of parents who were polled nationally (82 per cent) said they would like to see daily temperature checks on children. Here in B.C. that number lowered slightly to 77 per cent.
When looking at other measures parents would like to see, 81 per cent of Canadians suggested they would like to see teachers and staff wear protective masks. That number fell to 65 per cent across the country, however, in regards to having students wear masks every day.
British Columbians, along with many other provinces, are currently waiting to hear plans from the government about the upcoming school year.
As July comes to a close and summer break moves into its final month, parents are anticipating an announcement from BC’s Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, in the coming days.
B.C. experimented with part-time classes back in June amid the COVID-19 pandemic, setting the possible stage for a September return.
Last week, B.C. Premier John Horgan also called on parents to prep a backup plan in case a return isn’t able to happen.
“We’re seeking to move ahead to having kids back in classrooms full-time. Of course, it’s going to be a ‘new normal’ situation, schools will look different,” he said back on July 23.
Horgan added that officials are working towards a strong plan over a quick one, saying “my plan is to make sure we get it right, not that we get it done by a certain time.”