Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

Every child in Kitchener should have the technology they need to learn during lockdown

Published on December 22, 2020

KITCHENER – Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) is calling on the Ford government to provide the funds to guarantee every school student has the technology, including laptops and high-speed internet connections, to learn during the lockdown.
Lindo has heard from many families in Kitchener who don’t have access to the technology they’ll need, and who are worried their kids will fall behind on their learning. 
“Parents in Kitchener have been stressed and anxious for weeks without clarity on what will happen after the holidays. Now that we have finally been told elementary students will be learning virtually for at least a week in January, and high schoolers for longer, parents are again left scrambling to find child care and ensure their kids have the technology the need to learn virtually,” said Lindo. 
Lindo says the Ford government was squeezing education budgets before the pandemic hit, and has failed to provide the funding that was critical to avoid school closures and keep kids safely in class.
“Doug Ford and his education minister have refused to listen to parents and educators who told him we needed smaller, safer classes to protect our kids, and he’s failed to implement surveillance testing to identify cases of the virus in schools. He’s still sitting on $12-billion of unspent COVID-19 funds that could have been used to protect our classrooms,” said Lindo.
With all schools in Waterloo Region now closed for the first part of January, Lindo is urging the Ford government to send additional resources to the local school board so that every child can have access to the technology that will be essential for them to take part in virtual classes and complete their assignments. 
“The Waterloo Region District School Board is doing everything they can to keep our kids safe. We need this government to step up and help,” said Lindo.
“Without access to technology we’ll see kids from low-income families miss out on learning with their peers, and their education will suffer during lockdown. The Ford government has a responsibility to ensure that every child still receives a high-quality education during this time, and that means providing the technology to make that possible while schools are closed.”