Both the Yukon Party and the Yukon NDP say there have been reports of clasrooms without teachers to start the year.
A spokesperson for the Yukon Party said by email the party has been getting reports of vacancies in a number of schools.
In an Aug. 25 release, education critic Scott Kent said it’s been a rocky start to the school year.
“The minister has been noticeably absent for the better part of the summer instead of showing leadership and making sure these issues were resolved prior to the start of school,” he said.
The Yukon Party put out the release about the piling up of education issues, which the party believes is getting worse.
“Some students who arrived to begin the school year found they did not have a teacher and were sent home,” reads the release.
“Other students discovered an educational assistant at the head of the classroom, leaving vulnerable students without the supports they require.”
The News has not confirmed which schools or how many classrooms have been affected.
The Yukon government’s cabinet communications said by email Aug. 26 it is not aware of any students being sent home from school for lack of available staff.
“This is the kind of uniformed, speculative and personal attack we see too often from the Yukon Party and that which results in many capable people opting to stay out of public life. This has been a busy summer with much work to prepare the new First Nation School Board and all Yukon schools for another school year,” reads the statement.
Although the department of Education is continuing recruitment for approximately 20 teaching positions spread over 32 Yukon schools or alternative learning sites, cabinet communications said classrooms are being covered.
“There are plans in place to ensure the classrooms that do not yet have a dedicated teacher can continue to support student learning,” cabinet communications said.
“In some situations, these plans include using [educational assistants] to temporarily support students until teachers on call can be put in place. This is the case in Carmacks and Pelly, but is not a system-wide occurrence.”
A welcome back Facebook post on the Ross River School page by a superintendent indicates that school had “teachers ready for every class” as the school year got underway.
Contact Dana Hatherly at email@example.com