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The Advocate for Children and Youth says keeping schools open is vital for students

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Children in New Brunswick have been among Canadian students most seriously affected by the long school closure caused by the pandemic, said the province’s Children and Youth and Seniors Advocate.

Norm Boss gave his seventh State of the Child report on Friday, entitled “Protecting Children’s Rights in Pandemic Times.”

The boss said keeping schools open is vital to helping vulnerable children during the pandemic.

“That’s why we’re saying, if all else fails, just keep the schools open as long as we can,” he said.

Bosssaid during the long break in the spring, many students lost more than just their education time. They more than stability and access to vital services, leaving them vulnerable.

“Schools and teachers are at the forefront of making sure young children and adults are well,” Boss said.

Talk to students

If a student has a problem he said, teachers are usually the first to notice it. But Boss said not enough data is yet being collected on how students are being affected.

We still do not have any statistics in New Brunswick because we did not go and ask and engage those young people in: ‘Well, what did COVID do for you? How did you do at home? How did you do at school? ‘ “

The boss is recommending that the education department have students complete surveys about their experiences throughout the pandemic and closure, and the effect both have had on their education and lives.

The work that he said is not currently being done, but should be done now, and again when the pandemic is over.

“Once we get those statistics, we will be able to create a picture to say, ‘What was the worst effect on the children?’ What went wrong in resuming school? What did they suffer the most – was it alienation? able to play on the school field, get to know their friends again, not sleep in their friends houses? “

Bosssaid he is “very concerned” about students not re-enrolling when school started again in the fall and recommends that any student who did not do so should be contacted and evaluated.

According to the Department of Education, 2,316 applications for home schooling have been approved this year.

Six recommendations are outlined in the report including the establishment of a youth parliament and the inclusion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in domestic law, among others.

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