Student class size in schools


Editor, The Bulletin;
Jason Kenney’s buddy in Ontario is planning to make the number of students per classroom larger to save money. Doug Ford is apparently going to lay off 3500 teachers. Their Minister of Education says larger class sizes will make the students more “resilient.” I am not an expert in education and I don’t know what she means by that term. Maybe make them more like spring steel. No worries on that. The real world will bounce them around enough after school.
It is interesting to note that almost every private school in the developed world, ie those schools where the rich pay to send their children, have smaller class sizes. Finland has a class ratio of 14 students per teacher. Finland students score higher in all round competency tests than any other country. Canada’s public school class sizes are supposed to average about 24 students per classroom. But I am guessing there are many with upwards of 40.
Now Mr. Ford is willing to fork out $54 million in free money to a company that makes unhealthy processed sliced meats. So what is more important to our future economy, education of our children or sliced meat?
In Calgary right now there are 2000 high skills jobs available with no one with the training to fill them. In the not too distant future, Canada will need one million new tradespeople. In the future, people will need to have a broad range of skills and ongoing training. They will have to be creative, outstanding problem solvers, know how to work on a team, and think outside the box.
So the question is, how much are we prepared to invest in our children’s education? How are we going to ensure Canada can compete with the economies of other countries with superior education? How will we compete economically with, say, South Korea. They have the second best overall educational system and are the best in math and science.
Don’t most students need the individual mentoring of teachers to some degree. So, after the election here, are we also headed for larger class sizes?

Ken Riley,
Bassano, AB