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

Just Posted

Minor injuries after South Surrey student struck in school crosswalk

Collision ‘a reminder to drivers, pedestrians to take safety seriously’

Rec centre staff honoured for their help to revive teen who collapsed in weight room

BC Emergency Health Services presented Vital Link awards to four City of Surrey employees on Sunday

Surrey tops list of most delayed, congested TransLink bus routes

TransLink says delays are costing $75 million a year

Once shy, Surrey maker of cakes finds confidence to show skills on TV and at big events

Raveena Oberoi of Just Cakes Bakeshop is a guest speaker at Vancouver Fall Home Show this week

North Delta students collect over 16,000 items during annual one-night food drive

Items collected during Delview Secondary’s annual Thanks 4 Giving benefit Deltassist, Surrey Food Bank

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

VIDEO: Depth and scoring lacking for Vancouver Giants this season: Coach

G-Men defeated on home ice Sunday by Victoria – next up Everett on Friday

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

Most Read

l -->