Thousands of Ontario teachers walk out to protest school cuts

Ottawa, Thousands of educators from across Ontario in Canada descended on Saturday to protest impending changes to the province’s education system and cut at least 3,475 full-time teaching positions.

The rally was organized by members from five different teachers’ unions. Demonstrators, some from as far away as Dryden, Ontario, arrived in Toronto in more than 150 buses. They were joined by large groups of parents, students and school board trustees.

The protest comes in the wake of the provincial government’s decision to increase average required class sizes in intermediate and high school grades, introduce mandatory e-learning modules and cut at least 3,475 full-time teaching positions.

School boards have warned the revisions could lead to classes with up to 40 students and result in various electives being cancelled altogether. The fallout could be compounded by an overhaul to Ontario’s autism program, which will likely see schools trying to cope with a sudden infusion of students with challenging needs.

In a statement Friday, Education Minister Lisa Thompson said the government would not be “distracted by union tactics” such as protests and rallies.

“The fact is that Ontario’s teacher unions have been handed control of the education system for the past 15 years,” Thompson added.

Source: Jordan News Agency