Students across the province are set to walk out of class this afternoon as part of an Ontario-wide protest against Premier Doug Ford’s recent cuts and changes to the education system, with a focus on the cuts to OSAP, changes to class sizes, and reworked curriculums.
Today’s protest will be a few weeks after the Ontario government announced that it would be increasing high school class sizes to 28 students per class, according to Education Minister Lisa Thompson. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) released a statement announcing that this would impact staffing, resulting in a loss of 800 teaching jobs across the city.
In addition to class sizes and OSAP cuts, the changes include a provincial ban on cellphones in classrooms, and a new math and sex education curriculum. According to the province, the new education plan was created with input from over 72,000 parents, teachers, employers, organizations, and students.
The walkout was organized by a collection of students on social media, primarily through Instagram, and it’s set to start at 1:15 pm today (April 4th, 2019). 16-year-old Noah Sparrow is one of the walkout organizers, who believes “education is a vital asset to the future of Ontario, so when it is at risk, we all need to step up.”
“The time to speak up is now. It is crucial that we take back our education and show that we have a loud and powerful voice,” the walkout organizers explained in a statement. “We must not let our opinions be brushed aside just because of our age. These education cuts are directly affecting all of us students, so our point of view matters.”
Lead photo courtesy of Billy H.