David Eggen, official opposition critic for advanced education said Thursday that the UCP should ensure all students and staff have access to N95 masks, access to rapid COVID-19 tests, as well as a proper audit of air quality and airflow at all buildings on campuses. (Advocate File Photo)

David Eggen, official opposition critic for advanced education said Thursday that the UCP should ensure all students and staff have access to N95 masks, access to rapid COVID-19 tests, as well as a proper audit of air quality and airflow at all buildings on campuses. (Advocate File Photo)

NDP asking AB gov’t for more support for post-secondary institutions

As K-12 students across the province prepare to return to in-person learning on Monday, post-secondary institutions are still wondering what protections they will have when they return.

The Alberta NDP is asking the UCP to ensure all students and staff have access to N95 masks, access to rapid COVID-19 tests, as well as a proper audit of air quality and airflow at all buildings on campuses.

“These measures, coupled with continuing reporting of outbreaks and alerts at schools by the government will ensure schools can make in-person learning as safe as possible,” said David Eggen, NDP Critic for Advanced Education in a press release.

“Students and staff are online for the next few weeks, and Jason Kenney must use this time to roll out safety measures to schools in time for in-person return.”

Red Deer Polytechnic, which started its winter term on Jan. 4, announced on Dec. 22 that they would transition to temporary online learning until Jan. 23. RDP plans to return to in-person course delivery on Jan. 24.

Jillian Buriak, professor of chemistry and Canada Research Chair of Nanomaterials for Energy at the University of Alberta, said she doesn’t want another “wait and see” approach by the government to this wave of the pandemic and wants to see the province use the effective tools in our arsenal to ensure safe in-person learning.

“I just finished teaching my first class of the semester, from home, live-streaming via Zoom,” Buriak said in an NDP press release.

“I try hard to make it fun, interesting, and interactive, but let’s face it – talking to a screen is not the way humans are wired to interact. Learning is hard work. That hard work best happens when supported properly by others, and that means community.

“For the sake of our students, let’s do this. We need masks, rapid tests, and to verify ventilation.”



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