Education leaders will try to keep schools open as much as possible, even if there are new cases of COVID-19 in the territory, says the territorial government.
The need for continuing in-person and distanced learning is met with some technological challenges.
The pandemic has highlighted gaps in telecommunications, infrastructure, capacity, and equipment in communities and homes across the NWT, as stated in a press release, by the department of education.
The government calls an “unsustainable” learning approach.
With the added unpredictability of COVID- 19, education leaders are prepared to temporarily close schools if need be.
To mitigate those concerns, the GNWT says it is prepared to offer and deliver paper packages of homework, loan out laptops, and in some cases buy modems, turbo sticks, or set up drive-up hotspots.
According to a press release, with the potential of a second wave of COVID-19, these decisions will be based on the most up-to-date public health research and recommendations.
“We need to ensure that our responses and mitigations reflect the needs of individual schools and communities as circumstances vary across the North,” says R.J. Simpson, minister of Education.
Education leaders are still working to identify individual re-opening plans for all schools in the NWT.