In-person learning essential for education and well-being of children 

A return to in-person learning is essential for the education and overall well-being of children and youth in the province, according to the latest brief from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

Prachi Srivastava, a global education professor in Western’s Faculty of Education and a co-author of the report, is available to media for comment.

“Using schools as a pandemic control is not warranted. Ontario needs smaller class sizes, ventilation upgrades, masking, cohorting and a host of public health measures in line with the local viral context to prioritize schools ahead of other services,” says Srivastava. “We need to institute curricular reform and mental health supports throughout the system.”

The full report can be read here: https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/sciencebrief/school-operation-for-the-2021-2022-academic-year-in-the-context-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Srivastava was also co-lead on the Science Table brief on education disruption in Ontario.

In November 2020, Srivastava launched the COVID-19 School Dashboard, an interactive tool that reports and maps confirmed school-related cases of COVID-19 in publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario, Canada, and connects those to data on school-level social background characteristics and demographic data.

That same month, she led a special event of the Think 20 (T20) Summit to inform the G20 on pandemic effects on global education – and what countries need to do to recover. She has led two high-level T20 policy briefs as part of the G20 2020 and G20 2021 Summit processes. The T20 is an official Engagement Group of the G20.

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-520-7281 (mobile), jrenaud9@uwo.ca