Coronavirus: Families worry kids will fall behind in school due to online challenges

Students are having to continue classes from home amid COVID-19, which is starting to create problems.

Many families located in rural areas do not have the option of home internet, which means phone bills and data overages are becoming an issue.

“It’s pretty sad when you have to drive to their school and sit in the parking lot in the car so they can do a little schooling,” said Nancy Priebe, a mother of four living in Hodgeville, Sask.

The mobile company the family uses, Bell Media, is offering free home internet during this time, but due to where the family is located that is not an option for them.

The data plan the family currently has is not able to support the school work, and now the high demands that come with working from home.

Priebe said she is now feeling the stress of her kids falling behind, stating, “I’m not a teacher, and I would love to be able to do more online stuff with the kids to help them out, because I feel like they are going to move on next year and have a big huge gap in their learning.”

Families living in rural areas are not the only ones finding it hard to stay connected. Low-income families are also having to find ways to stay on top of learning without online resources.

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“Some of the kids don’t have online learning, so we make activity bags up, with fractions, and school worksheets and reading comprehension,” said Sandy Wankel, who is the executive director at North Central Family Centre.

She working with teachers to create learning packages to send to families.

Many families are hoping the resources they have available will be enough to keep kids on top of their studies, once schools open again.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers across Canada are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. In Saskatchewan, international travellers are already required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the province.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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