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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Owen Sound Students Join Province-Wide Walkout

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Students have objections to province's changes to education system

High school students in Owen Sound are among those taking part in a province-wide walkout today to protest Ford government changes to Ontario's education system.

A number of students at both Owen Sound District Secondary School and St. Mary's High School plan to leave class at 1:15 p.m. this afternoon as part of the "Students Say No" movement.

Mathea Treslan is a Grade 12 student at OSDSS and says her primary concern is the proposed class size cap increase in high schools that will raise the average number of students per room from 22 to 28.

The Bluewater District School Board has projected the class size cap change will lead to the loss of 40-50 full-time teaching positions through an attrition process when retiring teachers won't be replaced.

"This could lead to program and course diversity loss," Treslan says. "For example, if a shop teacher retires, they won't be hiring a shop teacher. And those programs students really enjoy and need in our curriculum could be lost."

Treslan also has concerns about the mandatory e-learning component proposed as part of the Progressive Conservatives' education overhaul, which would require students to take four of the 30 credits required for a diploma as online courses.

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