To the Editor,
One of the government’s defined purposes of the Learning Improvement Fund is “consideration of all classes and students with respect to addressing learning issues”.
Prior to 2002, students in B.C. had a guaranteed right to a base level of support in the classroom.
Now, struggling students and/or classrooms have the right to be ‘considered’ for additional support. Schools and classrooms must compete for limited supports available, with winners and losers created as a result.
Nanaimo has the highest level of child poverty and second highest class sizes in the province. Obviously, there is little support for the majority of students with unique learning needs.
Of the 800 times a teacher has informed the principal their classroom was not appropriate for student learning, the principal has never agreed with the classroom professional. This leaves the teacher with no other choice but to volunteer their lunchtime and after school to try and meet the needs of students struggling to learn in oversized and under-supported classroom environments.
Instead of standing up for the right of students, Mel Joy, chairwoman of BCPSEA board of directors, has chosen to spend her time fighting for teachers to provide free labour. Teachers had been giving up their lunch hours to compensate for the government’s refusal to provide support for all students.
Now, as a result of our job action, we expose our chronically underfunded education system and, as Joy has made abundantly clear, “the emperor has no clothes”.
Nanaimo and District