To the editor:
If it wasn’t so sad, it would be a joke. The Mike Harris government has just announced that they are going to spend $1 million on a publicity campaign aimed at explaining how they are going to take $1 billion out of education in Ontario but not negatively effect classroom education.
I am in the classroom Monday through Friday. My students are in classrooms Monday through Friday. We have discussed some of the issues related to this in some detail as, and this may be a surprise to the Harris government, students are concerned about their education.
One issue that was raised by students in two of my classes last spring was the government proposal that the school day be lengthened, and the school year be longer. There were two concerns expressed by the kids that surprised me as they seemed to grasp something immediately that the government, with all its high-paid advisors, has not caught on to.
We have a school bus system here integrated with the elementary schools on the same schedule for our many country students. Will we now have to run a separate bus schedule for elementary and high school systems, or will we simply lengthen the elementary school day also?
Perhaps we could just have all those elementary students hang out on the streets, waiting for the buses. In the great northwest, there is no transit for them to hop on.
The second point raised by the students was the fact that they need summer jobs to make money needed to pay for ever-increasing college and university fees.
Down south, jobs are available year-round but up here, most of the jobs open up in the summer. They felt that year-round school would result in fewer being able to afford further education.
Perhaps Harris should start listening to the kids and not his "made-in-Toronto" advice.