Surrey Track and Field Championships (pictured in 2011) aren’t expected to return this year due to a labour dispute.

Surrey Track and Field Championships (pictured in 2011) aren’t expected to return this year due to a labour dispute.

Far greater losses than athletics

Editor:

Re: School sports seasons ‘on thin ice,’ April 10.

Editor:

Re: School sports seasons ‘on thin ice,’ April 10.

I read with interest your story about school sports but would like to point out to your readers that while after-school sports programs certainly help make school a more enjoyable place for students and teachers, cancelling them does not kill a school.

In fact, cancelling them, while undesirable, does far less damage to public education than the persistent refusal by government to listen to what teachers say about learning conditions and adequate support for all types of students. Underfunded programs and disregard for teachers’ professional judgment about the state of education is far more likely to kill a school than withdrawal of an after-school sports program.

Unfortunately, disregard for teachers’ professional judgment appears to be the order of the day.

Collectively, B.C. teachers spend over 37 million hours in school classrooms each year. The last time I looked, B.C. politicians spent none. Yet Bill 22 – known as the Education Improvement Act – was written by politicians without any consultation with teachers.

Sadly, one of the results of Bill 22 is that teachers will have less say in how our children are educated. I cannot see how this will lead to an improvement in education.

Not one teacher I know is enthusiastic about the prospect of cutting back on voluntary activities. Yet as programs and services to students in the classroom continue to be cut, teachers need to choose where best to direct their time, energy and training: to the increasing pressures of over-crowded classrooms or to extra sports and leisure activities.

Finally, I’d like to point out that the BC Teachers’ Federation is a democratically run organization and most teachers are not at odds with union decisions, since recommendations such as cutting out extracurricular activities are put forth by the union always have been, and will continue to be, voted on by the teachers themselves.

Parents are encouraged to talk to their children’s teachers about their decision to participate or not in extracurricular activities, and how Bill 22 will impact B.C. students for years to come.

Donald Fleming, White Rock

Relationship damaged

Reading again about the actions of one of our “we want” societies – after one year of talking, those less able to assist them are paying the price.

Indeed, school coaches are volunteer positions, but so what. Many people volunteer in different organizations and never get paid and rarely receive a reward.

For the teachers, so visible, coaching is a way to build a relationship, which is damaged by this attitude of showing that education is also a way to demonstrate  to get something under “we want” socialistic tone, a direction large parts of the world are suffering from.

The negative view among the people is getting larger as its militant record keeps rising.

 

Suan. H. Booiman, White Rock