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Two-thirds of Quebecers surveyed are concerned about the educational success of their children during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey for a major teachers’ union suggests.

Ninety per cent of respondents also believe that students with learning difficulties will be most penalized by the pandemic, with 92 per cent believing more resources should be dedicated to helping these students.

But there’s also concerns for students in general: 66 per cent were “very or somewhat worried” about the impact of the pandemic on student success, compared to five per cent who said they were not worried at all.

Respondents were also split on whether schools were prepared for the resumption of classes – 52 per cent said they were not prepared enough or at all, compared to 48 per cent who thought the opposite.

The CROP survey was conducted online surveying 1,000 Quebeckers between July 22 and 29.

The results cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered probabilistic.

The Centrale des syndicats du Quebec (CSQ), which commissioned the poll, said the results suggest more provincial government investment is necessary, particularly resources for those most at-risk.

“These students, who number 223,000, were having difficulties before the pandemic and have gone almost six months without attending school, they are going to need a lot of support,” said union president Sonia Ethier.

Last Monday, Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge presented a revised back-to-school plan, making face-coverings mandatory as of Grade 5 and enlarging the bubble concept to include an entire classroom of students.

The new plan also includes a shift to distance learning in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in a classroom.

Opposition parties raised concerns about the issue of catching up not being addressed after nearly six months away from school, including summer break.

Mr. Roberge is expected to address the issue during a news conference on Monday in Quebec City.

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