School Boards Warn Internet Outages Affecting Online Learning in Ontario

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Several Ontario school boards urged students and staff to be patient on Tuesday as internet outages affected online classes on the second day of the winter semester.

The Kingston, Windsor area, Halton area and Ottawa area Catholic and public councils have all posted social media notices pointing to potential issues with distance education as a result of a number of breakdowns.

They said several internet providers, including Cogeco, were reporting their services were down.

“We understand that there are major Internet outages in our communities from various providers. This may impact the ability of students and staff to access distance learning platforms, ”the Upper Canada District School Board, which includes 79 Ottawa-area schools, said in a tweet.

“Please be patient as providers work to resolve these issues. ”

The blackouts come as students across the province log on to online courses only as part of the Ontario government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The switch to distance learning is part of a provincial lockdown that began on Boxing Day and is expected to last through January 9 in northern Ontario and January 23 in southern Ontario.

Northern Ontario students and southern Ontario elementary school students will resume face-to-face classes next week, while southern Ontario high school students will continue their online learning until January 25.

A group of parents raised concerns about the province’s plan earlier this week, questioning the rationale for reopening schools for in-person learning so early as the daily number of cases is higher now than when the lockout was first imposed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 5, 2021.

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