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Ontario education minister defends higher class sizes by saying students need more resiliency

WATCH ABOVE: An internal memo from the Toronto District School Board revealed Toronto schools may soon have more than a thousand fewer teachers in their schools after the Ontario government announced a proposal for more students per class. Jamie Mauracher explains. (March 18)

TORONTO – Ontario’s education minister is defending a plan to increase high school class sizes by saying today’s students lack resiliency and coping skills.

Lisa Thompson says larger class sizes will enable more group work and build skills that employers want.

READ MORE: Ontario teachers concerned about effect larger class sizes will have on students

She said after question period today that employers are asking for graduates in Ontario to be resilient and have good coping skills.

Thompson was defending comments on resilency she made to CBC earlier today, saying that by increasing class sizes in high school, Ontario is preparing students for the reality of post-secondary education and the working world.

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

Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, says students could be subjected to all kinds of deprivations and those who survive would be “resilient,” but that’s not how students should be educated in 2019.

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NDP Leader Andrea Horwath likened Thompson’s resiliency comments to the “Hunger Games,” a book and movie series about children battling to the death.

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