Queen’s Park- This year Ontario School Boards have designated May 6th – 10th as Education Week. With the onset of spring and the greater portion of the year’s curriculum under their belts, this is a great time for eager students and teachers to showcase their achievement and growth to the entire community.
“There are some really amazing things happening in many of our classrooms here in Algoma-Manitoulin. I am frequently invited to visit an elementary or secondary school class or participate in a special activity, and each time I come away so impressed with the outstanding efforts of our students and their teachers,” said MPP Michael Mantha. “Education week is a great time to celebrate the professionalism and dedicated work of our teachers, education workers, administrators and school board trustees.”
According to Mr. Mantha, a nation’s overall commitment to and delivery of public education is a primary determiner in its nation building success. Education is the foundation upon which strong societies build their future. Since strong foundations are key to ensure the sustainability and longevity of a structure, he says that it is imperative that all citizens do their part in supporting their community schools and students.
Mantha went on to explain that the only way to have a truly world-class education system is to encourage and develop strong partnerships and support systems among all community stakeholders. As such, he encourages not only parents and grandparents, but everyone to see for themselves what is going on in their community’s schools.
“This year Education week comes on the heels of the Ford Government’s recent attacks on not only our education system but on children and students as a whole,” said Mantha. Over the last nine months, the Ford government has taken aim at public education over and over again. They scrapped $100 million in critical school repairs when schools are literally crumbling across the province. The Conservatives cut $25 million in education programming that was helping put young people and families on a good path. They made students feel unsafe by dragging the sex education curriculum back to the previous century.
Most recently Ford gave notice that this coming school year class sizes will increase substantially and there will be fewer teachers and education staff in every school. As well, secondary students will have to complete at least four e-learning classes online at home without the assistance of a live teacher. “Given the high stakes, all of us need to be informed and involved in our province’s future,” Mantha said.
Education Week is an excellent opportunity for all Ontarians to get out and see for themselves and connect with students and educators to celebrate so many outstanding successes and to hear firsthand what concerns and challenges they see ahead.