Letters to the Editor

Classrooms have changed

Recent comments by the minister of education with regards to class sizes are so outrageous, there needs to be public condemnation of such foolish statements.

He is saying that larger class sizes are okay and that smaller class sizes are of little benefit to students, when the research clearly does not support those assertions.

He goes on to say that in order to put things into perspective, in 1970 the average class size was 42. I went to school in the 1970s and looking back on my class photos does not reveal a class of 42, my class size was 30. There were no “special needs” students in my class.

Everyone spoke English as their first language, no intellectually delayed or autistic students were in our class, nor were there blind, deaf, or physically challenged students in wheelchairs or those with severe communication or speech delays.

Today’s classrooms are far more complex than they were years ago and the needs of our students has greatly increased. Yet this government chooses to underfund education by a thousand dollars per student as compared to the national average and we have the second-highest student-to-teacher ratio in Canada.

It is not uncommon for many classes to be composed of several special needs students. Many students require one-on-one support by education assistants yet are lucky to get an hour or two a day.

It is about time this government properly funded education.

Arlene Laing


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