Ontario students petitioning to axe final exams province-wide due to strikes

WATCH ABOVE: Some walk out of class while others signed a petition not to write final exams, Lama Nicolas explains.

TORONTO — Some high school students in Ontario claim it’s unfair that those affected by teacher strikes are exempt from final exams, while everyone else will still have to write them.

An online petition has been started, “No Exams for Ontario High School Students”, which by Tuesday afternoon had more than 17,000 signatures.

Roughly 72,000 high school students in the Durham Region, Peel and Rainbow Districts were out of class for weeks due to teacher strikes. When they returned to class it was decided those students would not have to write exams, and their mid-term marks used instead.

READ MORE: Ontario passes back-to-work legislation for high school teachers

“While life isn’t always fair, it makes sense that since roughly 10 per cent of students don’t have to write exams, the other students shouldn’t have to,” the petition’s web page states.

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“What happens if the student who got no time off, worked hard all year, and has one bad exam gets their acceptance revoked? Does that spot go to the student who has worked less, got time off, but because they did not have to write exams, has the necessary average to go to school next year?”

Grade 12 student Connor Ive started the petition. He said the dropped final exams gives those students an unfair advantage when it comes to university applications.

“It’s not fair [that the] ministry can cancel some board exams but not all of them,” said Ive.

He and other petition supporters said mid-term marks tend to be higher than final marks, potentially leaving students who are required to take the finals at a disadvantage.

“A lot of us want to get those acceptances and since we’re taking exams, our marks might fall to those who didn’t take them,” added Ayomidd Adeojo, a Grade 12 student at Loyala Catholic Secondary School.

Meanwhile students in Peel Region said their missed school days hardly put them at an advantage.

Hundreds of students walked out of class at Cawthra Park Secondary School Tuesday in protest of the ongoing unrest.

“Why did they go on strike, and then nothing happened,” said Patrick Goralski, a Grade 11 student who is worried about being locked out of class in his final year. “Negotiations didn’t change, nothing changed. And they’re talking about going on strike in September.”

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With files from Lama Nicolas