Phys ed, art, music won't be cut for school's fall term, education minister says

P.E.I.'s education minister says classes like physical education, art and music will not be eliminated when students return to school in the fall.

But Brad Trivers says there may be changes to those programs as school officials work out a plan that will allow students to return to class while still maintaining physical distancing. 

"Indeed, those are very important parts of our curriculum and it will be a challenge, and the department is working with the education authorities to probably have a modified version of those programs," Trivers said during question period on Tuesday. 

"I will commit to you here today that they will not be eliminated."

Opposition education critic Karla Bernard raised the issue in the legislature. 

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

"That answer is not reassuring to me whatsoever," said Bernard.  

"By now, we understand the crucial role that art, music, physical education, movement and time outdoors play in the well-rounded education and health of our students."

Plan to come Thursday

Trivers said by using multipurpose rooms and libraries within schools, there should be enough space. He also believes the department should be able to hire enough additional staff.

"When it comes to school buses, our plan is to ask as many parents as possible who are comfortable doing it to take their children to school to decrease, reduce the number of students on the buses," said Trivers.

"We might have to entertain things like them wearing masks as well."

The P.E.I. government plans to unveil its full plan on Thursday.

Trivers said education officials will be working closely with the Chief Public Health Office as it rolls out its plans for students to return to class in the fall. 

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