BC officials say post-secondary students and institutions should prepare for a return to in-person classes in the fall.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry advised universities and colleges to prepare for a “full return” to on-campus learning come September, according to a Monday news release from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

Minister Anne Kang believes getting back to normal will be good for students’ well-being.

“This year has been incredibly hard, and I’ve heard from many students, faculty and staff who are eager to return to campus when it is safe,” she said.

“I also know some people will be feeling nervous. Your safety is our top priority,” Kang continued. “At every step, we’re going to be working with Dr. Henry and all our partners to make sure the right measures are in place to keep people safe.”

Universities and colleges across Canada moved to makeshift online learning a year ago in March 2020 as the pandemic hit the country.

The BC Federation of Students says the pandemic has been especially tough on young Canadians in school who don’t have access many of the supports and resources designed for remote workers.

“Today’s announcement is welcome news to so many students who have struggled to be successful in an untested online learning environment while managing the health, safety and economic realities of the pandemic,” chairperson Tanysha Klassen said.

The University of British Columbia issued a statement Monday saying they’re preparing for a return to regular on-campus activities in September. It’s currently working on plans to guide the transition.

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