Despite the closure of schools until January 11, some educational institutions attended by ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Montreal are continuing their activities. They claim to comply with the government decree that allows students who do not have the technology necessary for distance education to attend school in person.
“Indeed, some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities do not have internet and cable service,” explains Alain Picard, communications advisor for ultra-Orthodox communities. It is not known how many establishments remain in operation, but the Skver Community School and Beth Esther Academy in the Outremont sector are among them.
Several schools are maintaining their closure, he adds. Some establishments, some visited by Press Tuesday, also house daycare centers for the youngest children.
Without the necessary technological tools, we cannot coordinate the distance school for these establishments, reports Mr. Picard. “The directors of these establishments maintain that in the light of the directives, they have the right to open. ”
The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) confirms that it went to Skver school on Christmas day. The intervention followed complaints about non-compliance with health instructions, such as wearing a mask and distancing.
A general offense report has been drawn up to the head of the establishment and will be submitted to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP).
The management of schools in the ultra-Orthodox Belz community has decided to open the doors of some of its establishments. “The decree currently in force indicates that educational services must be provided according to the school calendar. Our school calendar does not provide for educational holidays between the end of December and the beginning of January. Therefore, closing our school for about a month, when distance education is not feasible, would make it impossible for our school to meet the educational needs of our students ” , we explain in writing.
It is also added that the students’ families do not have access to the Internet, “just as is the case in certain regions of Quebec where the Internet is not accessible or adequate. ”
The Ministry of Education had still not responded to interview requests from Press in the early afternoon.