Schooling for equity during and beyond COVID-19

"The Ministry of Education, Human Rights Code and Canadian Charter remind us that it is our duty and responsibility to challenge inequities. A crisis does not negate such responsibilities. It only enhances them. "

Schools are closed. Physical distancing is happening. Playgrounds are off limits. Life as we know it has shifted invoking fear and anxiety for both young people and adults. These emotions manifest differently for families depending on their context. Perhaps a caregiver has been laid off causing financial stress and food insecurity; perhaps there is no access to technology; or, perhaps a family member is ill. The variations are endless.

And then emerges the question of schooling. What will public education look like moving forward? Will it simply replicate the status quo of inequitable access in an online platform (with additional implications for surveillance, privacy and public accountability)? Or, will the disruption to the system as a result of COVID-19 provide space for us to re-envision schooling in a way that dismantles practices and structures that further advance the privileged? Watching the first wave of online resources being shared with students and families, as a temporary solution to continued schooling—and recognizing the danger in assuming e-learning to be without its own power structures or as somehow “neutral”—we felt compelled to share a few considerations for “Reimagining Schooling” in the time of COVID-19.

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Written by Alison Gaymes and Ramon San Vicente
Beyond the Numbers
March 27, 2020
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Contributed by the Here For Students Staff
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