Some Canadian universities say fall classes will be offered primarily online

Reported By: The Canadian Press

Some Canadian universities say classes this fall will be offered primarily online as uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

In recent days, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Ottawa and others have laid out broad plans for how they will handle the fall semester amid evolving health and safety measures.

In Montreal, students at McGill will see classes delivered largely through remote platforms, while the Universite de Montreal says only a few courses or parts of courses will take place on campus.

UBC says larger classes will be held online, with a select number of smaller classes conducted in person in accordance with physical distancing and other guidelines.

The University of Ottawa, meanwhile, says all its classes, with some exceptions, will include a distance-learning option in September.

Post-secondary institutions across Canada were forced to close their campuses in March due to the COVID-19 health crisis, and rapidly shifted their classes online.

Provincial governments have recently announced plans to gradually ease restrictions and reopen their economies, with most steps hinging on a continued decline in COVID-19 cases.

In Quebec, where elementary schools and daycares outside the Montreal area were allowed to reopen Monday, Premier Francois Legault said it’s too early to know what education will look like this fall.

Legault was asked Monday whether the decisions by McGill and the Universite de Montreal were signs that all schooling should be done virtually in September, but he said a lot remains in flux.

“I think we’ll look at the situation,” Legault said.

“We hope that there’ll be some teaching that will be done physically in universities, and colleges, and schools, but we cannot confirm if it will be possible today. So, probably during the summer, we’ll have announcements to make.”

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