Saskatchewan

Sask. parents consider home-schooling due to government's back-to-school plan

With the school year less than a month away, some parents in Saskatchewan have started looking into home-schooling as an alternative to sending their kids back to the classrooms this fall.

'How can they guarantee me that my little munchkin is going to be safe,' grandmother says

Some parents who are unhappy with the government's back to school plan consider home-schooling for the fall. (Juliya Shangarey/Shutterstock)

With the school year less than a month away, some parents in Saskatchewan have started looking into home-schooling as an alternative to sending their kids back to the classrooms this fall.

Families and teachers continue expressing concerns about Saskatchewan's back-to-school plan, which the government detailed on Tuesday. The plan does not include mandatory masks, but Education Minister Gord Wyant said Friday they are being considered.

"If they are not going to go back and then change the plan … I am going to home-school my son," said Joana Valamootoo from Regina.

The mother-of-two is concerned about her son, who has a weak immune system, especially with flu season just around the corner.

"Every year he has like … three to five infections," said Valamootoo. "I am not taking that risk." 

Valamootoo has signed an online petition calling for a better plan. As of Friday afternoon the petition had about 13,500 signatures.

Home-schooling instead of teaching at school

Family members who want to home-school their kids might have to give up their jobs to make enough time.

Wanda Peekeekoot has been teaching in a school near Prince Albert, but this fall she will be home-schooling her granddaughter instead.

"She is my life, she is everything to me," said Peekeekoot.

She raises the 10-year-old at their home in Prince Albert.

"As a parent I am going to keep her at home because I want her safe."

Peekeekoot said the government's plan lacks many things, including smaller classes. She said she is not the only one in her family who plans to keep a child out of school.

"How can they guarantee me that my little munchkin is going to be safe?" she said. "How can you social-distance in a school with 400 and some?"

Peekeekoot said she has been missing teaching in a classroom since schools closed in March.

According to the Government of Saskatchewan's website, the province usually requires families who intend to educate their children at home to contact the board of education of the school division they live in.

With files from The Afternoon Edition and Omayra Issa

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