Friday, September 20, 2013

Alberta: 11,000 new kids with 14.5 million less dollars

The Alberta government has cut 14.5 million dollars from the education budget. With the addition of 11,000 new students and an increase of 7% in the ESL population, students will feel the pinch. Visit to send a message to the Alberta government.

Glenn Kelly/For Metro
So how do these number translate into real life?

Sharad Gadhia, a grade 10 student at Queen Elizabeth High School in Calgary wrote an email to Alberta's Education Minister Jeff Johnson that explained how being stuck in classes with more than 40 students is impairing learning.

This story was covered by Calgary Metro News: 
Sharad Gadhia, who attends Queen Elizabeth High School, said up until Monday, two weeks after classes began, students in his class had been forced to share desks with the teacher and each other, and sit on stools. He said, even now, a large table has been moved in to accommodate a few kids and instructional time resembles something closer to that seen in a university lecture hall.
Here is Sharad Gadhia's letter to the minister:

The Alberta Teachers' Association knows that class sizes are a major problem that needs to be addressed. After all, a teacher's working conditions are a student's learning conditions -- and while it's true that smaller class sizes alone may not be sufficient in increasing student learning, it is absolutely necessary.

Alberta's burgeoning classrooms are boiling over so intensely that on the same day Edmonton Metro and Calgary Metro ran headlines that have Edmonton and Calgary competing for the most overcrowded classrooms in the province:

Calgary Board of Education high school class sizes among highest in province before cuts

Data reveals EPSB high-school class sizes among highest in province before budget cuts

Here are two videos that the Alberta Teachers' Association has published in order to advocate for teachers and students who are faced with overcrowded classrooms.

Remember, class size doesn't matter unless you're one of too many students or the only teacher, and when people say class size doesn't matter, they are talking about other people's children.

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