Association of Canadian Deans of Education Call for Investment in Education to Spur Pandemic Recovery
FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, March 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As we near the one-year anniversary of the pandemic-related restrictions and shutdowns, many of Canada’s five million elementary and secondary school students remain at risk of significant learning loss. Despite the heroic efforts of teachers and educational leaders, gaps that were already in existence are widening.
While many schools remain open, most are operating on a limited schedule. Many learners have little or no access to technology, bandwidth, or home-based support. Instruction for Francophone and minority language learners is limited. Black, Indigenous and learners of Colour are further disadvantaged by ongoing systemic and structural inequities.A new statement from the Association of Canadian Deans of Education asserts that with vaccine deployment ramping up across the country, the time has come to implement a pandemic recovery plan for Canada and for the education sector. There is substantial evidence from previous pandemics and other disasters, both international and domestic, that teachers are key to social, economic and emotional recovery.“Learning disruptions have been ongoing for a year now,” says Sharon Wahl, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick and President of the Association of Canadian Deans of Education. “We believe that the pandemic has changed the public education system forever. We call upon Canadian provinces to invest in education and teacher education as part of a post-pandemic recovery strategy.”Additional investments across the education sector are required to ensure that the needs of teachers and learners are met, Wahl notes. “Teachers are well positioned to positively influence the recovery effort in the next phases of the pandemic, both by promoting vaccine confidence and by responding directly to the learning and mental health needs of students.”The Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE), representing Canadian faculties, colleges, schools, and departments of education, is committed to pan- Canadian leadership in university-based professional and teacher education, educational research, and policy. ACDE’s statement, Teaching and Teacher Education: Preparing for a flourishing post-pandemic Canada, and more information about ACDE, may be found on the ACDE website.Katy Ellsworth
Executive Director, ACDE