Education: Numbers don’t define needs

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To the Editor,
The Department of Education, and as such our government, is banking heavily on the lure of lofty care-free summer days to overshadow the leaden weight of our ever sinking educational system.

School may be out but parents are keeping their heads in the game as some have not even found out the new class configurations at their respective schools resulting from the latest slash and cut fiasco by the department this past spring. Predictions rapidly turned into reality as more schools are finding themselves having to combine grade levels and swell class sizes leaving children in substandard learning environments with crucial programming cuts in several Island schools with the loss of Reading Recovery.

Difficult to fathom in this age of awareness and over researched studies that clearly point the way to early development of literacy and numeracy foundations especially in the Primary setting in order to achieve a sound successful educational outcome.

The recent Rally for Education held nothing back as teachers voices rang clear of the growing classroom composition struggles that are strangling the positive student achievement of an increasing number of our Island youth.

Children with special learning needs, children with behavioral issues, children who present with varied social concerns, and children entering our schools with English as a second language are compounding our teachers responsibilities and as it stands with astoundingly stark resources available to support our educators, our average students are sinking along with the education system.

Our children have also been unquestionably trying to send out an SOS with their faltering Provincial Assessment results. Parents are listening and will no longer stand silent and distraught but unified, drawing a line in the stand. Here. Now. Enough is enough. This is everyone’s future. No-one is exempt from this looming crisis in our public schools.

School trustees have been begged to throw a life preserver to our children and intervene as they are mandated to act on behalf of the concerns of parents and for the good of our Island students. I hope they will arrive soon.

Our children are failing and flailing to meet grade level expectations. They are in desperate need of their guardians.

The Minister of Education appears to be stuck himself somewhere and did not convey leadership, confidence, or basic listening skills as parents and our front line educators succinctly laid out their valid concerns at the rally.

Our enrolment numbers do not define our needs was the repetitive mantra of the day. And that’s what we want; for our children’s needs to be adequately met in order to foster successful student achievement.

So while school may be out, please count parents in, especially at the election polls where it seems that is the only venue left to have a voice. 


Patty van Diepen

Green Meadows

Geographic location: Iceland, Green Meadows

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