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Government could be responsible for online education pitfalls: lawyer

Last Updated Aug 20, 2020 at 1:18 pm MST

(PHOTO: Tom Ross, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Getting kids equal access to quality education is a challenge with COVID-19 keeping many vulnerable students at home.

But when those kids are immunocompromised or living with someone who is, technology becomes a big part of the solution.

“This government has invested some money and that’s good. It’s a far cry from where we have to be to ensure that students and families have access to faster internet,” said lawyer Avnish Nanda who added there is an inequitable distribution of internet in Alberta.

“In the school context, it has (COVID-19) raised a lot of really interesting and difficult conversations about how do we educate folks, children in this environment, particularly those with vulnerabilities.”

He noted this can be a serious problem for students in remote rural areas with no real access to high-speed internet.

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He believes the government could be responsible for any online education pitfalls.

“The onus does fall on the government here to step up and show some leadership and ensure that children return to safe classrooms, but for those who can’t return (that) they continue to have quality education.”

Requests for distance learning and online tutoring have surged this summer as many parents opt to keep their kids away from school amidst the pandemic.

WATCH: Parents turn to online tutoring amid pandemic

Many provinces, including Alberta, are offering alternative measures but in Quebec, the government is requiring all students to return to in-person classes.

On Monday, a lawsuit was filed against the government of Quebec from a group of parents calling on the province to offer remote learning for families who don’t want their children returning to classrooms.

Quebec’s Education Minister said the province will offer online resources for households where a medical condition that puts them at risk is present.