Raaj Chatterjee (left) and Gary Xie have created Save Ourselves to provide students a voice in education talks.

Giving students a voice to address issues

Semiahmoo Secondary teens launch petition, website to raise awareness about education shortfalls

Two Semiahmoo Secondary students are taking the future of their education into their own hands with an initiative rallying for more resources to be put towards schooling.

Raaj Chatterjee and Gary Xie – both going into Grade 12 – created Save Ourselves at the end of the last school year as a result of their dissatisfaction with the level of attention the newly re-elected provincial government was displaying towards education.

“We saw that a lot of teachers are trying to advocate for these issues but they weren’t being heard as much, so we thought we could add a student voice in the discussion,” Chatterjee said.

“We wanted to represent students and what’s important for students.”

After doing research, the duo came up with a draft for a letter that they would send to the minister of education. But after receiving feedback from community leaders – including teachers, administrators and parents – the duo realized a letter would not be enough.

With support from other students, the two began working on a petition and, soon after, created a website that laid out seven issues they believe require urgent attention, including education funding, school resources and cuts to special needs and staffing.

“I’ve personally noticed a trend of reducing resources and special-needs teachers. They’re clumping everything together and we’re moving away from personalized education,” Chatterjee said. “Here in Surrey, the Earl Marriott Secondary crowding issue is another big thing that needs to be dealt with.

“These are priorities that need to be met.”

While many of the group’s issues align with those of teachers, Chatterjee said that the plan is to stay independent from educators in order to ensure the demands made are coming purely from the students they represent.

“They have their own reasons for fighting, but we just want to make this clear that this is the students’ voice.”

For more information on the group or to read the petition, visit www.saveourselves.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Wrong-way driver triggers multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 in South Surrey

Police received multiple reports of vehicle heading north in southbound lanes

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read

l -->