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Gain or lose?

Dear editor:

I am writing to voice my concern about the impending government legislation on education in Ontario. There are many aspects of this legislation that I disagree with but I would like to focus on one aspect of it here.

This concern is the impact of it on athletics at FFHS. The government appears to be making the following changes: lengthening the school year, removing teacher preparation time, (which would cause fewer teachers and longer class size), imposing a school day for teachers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and giving principals the right to assign couching duties to teachers from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Now I come to the threat to our sport program. I have coached hockey for the past 17 years, and each year I contributed voluntarily over 400 hours of my time (this I can document). That works out to 50 eight-hour days each year.

Now the government is going to lengthen our school year, take away our time to prepare for classes and get some of our marking done, make us stay until 5 p.m. and assign coaching duties as well.

Guess what is going to happen at 5 p.m.—teachers and coaches are going to go home to our families like all other workers in Fort Frances at quitting time. The likelihood of teachers volunteering their time after that is not good.

Questions? What happens to hockey games that are now played at night? What happens to basketball tournaments on weekends? What happens to the NORWOSSA leagues for all sports?

These require extensive travel. Can those teams be back by 5 p.m. (quitting time)?

Personally, under the proposed system, I will work a lot less. But does the community gain or lose with this new direction in education?

Signed,

Glen Edwards

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