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Hamilton teachers union boss wonders if province’s goal is an educational environment or crowd control

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation is worried about whether education can be delivered properly, under new larger class sizes.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation is worried about whether education can be delivered properly, under new larger class sizes. 900 CHML

The union representative for Hamilton’s public high school teachers says larger class sizes will not mean better education for students.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) Local 21 President Dan Staples predicts the provincial government’s decision to increase average class sizes from 22-to-28 will be “very problematic.”

READ MORE: TDSB memo says increased class sizes could lead to loss of 800 high school teaching jobs

He believes it will result in “upwards of 40 kids into a class” in some scenarios, noting that some high school classes in Hamilton are already maxing out at 32.

Staples questions “is this going to be an educational environment or is it going to be crowd control?”, adding that he’s not sure “education can be delivered properly and effectively” under the new class sizes.

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WATCH BELOW: Ontario class sizes on way up, number of teachers could be on way down

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Ontario class sizes on way up, number of teachers could be on way down – Mar 18, 2019

 

Staples says the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) estimate that 178 high school teaching jobs will be lost because of larger class sizes is “very conservative”, and he predicts the actual number will be “a lot higher.”

READ MORE: Ontario announces revamped sex-ed curriculum, increase in class sizes for high school

Board officials have said they hope to absorb the reductions through retirements, resignations and other voluntary means.

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