Manitoba investing $20M to help students whose learning was disrupted by the pandemic

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The Manitoba government is allocating more than $20 million to improve student support and learning after years of disturbance from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko announced the funding on Thursday, saying the funding will be used to help re-engage Kindergarten to Grade 12 students whose learning was disrupted during the pandemic.

“Despite the challenges of the past two years, teachers and school staff have worked hard to engage students, be nimble, and keep everyone as safe as possible. This has not been easy,” the minister said.

The province noted in response to its consultation with school divisions across Manitoba, the funding will prioritize literacy and numeracy; mental health and well-being; student re-engagement; and support for students with diverse learning needs.

The Manitoba government will allocate $11 million on a per-pupil basis to give divisions and schools the ability to direct the money as needed. The other $9 million will go towards targeted investments for students and schools that were most affected by the pandemic.

This includes money to help those with delayed entry, as well as students returning from homeschooling.

Manitoba is also providing $200,000 to the Pembina Trails and St. James-Assiniboia School Divisions to provide free credit recovery summer school programs for high school students through InformNet.

In addition to the $20 million, the province is dedicating $3 million to the Teachers’ Idea Fund proposals that focus on mental health and well-being.

“Our government is also looking at ways to better understand how the pandemic has affected the health and behaviour of students, enhance access to classroom resources, and perform recovery learning research and evaluation,” Ewasko said.