As the Surrey School District increases the number of portable classrooms to 347, letter writers discuss its impact on the quality of education. (File photo)

OUR VIEW: Silos won’t solve overcrowding in Surrey’s schools

It’s going to take a concerted team effort from all levels of government to improve this situation

Surrey student Maddie Guild smartly summed up the effect overcrowding in Surrey’s schools has on our children – you know, the future of this city and nation.

She was among many quoted in the Now-Leader’s comprehensive four-part series, “Squeezing Surrey students in.”

Guild said that when she began Grade 8, she was “super stressed” by the “crowdedness” at her school, “which was not very good for me and my nerves.”

For several decades, overcrowding at schools has been a problem in Surrey. And yet, more townhouses and other residential projects have over the years almost mechanically been approved by successive city councils.

It’s been a losing battle of attrition in the arena of burgeoning population – nearly 1,000 more people calling Surrey home each month – versus providing basic services and amenities to ensure this remains a livable city.

READ ALSO: Why school portables are a ‘way of life’ in Surrey

The parents of many of the roughly 7,500 students being schooled in portables – that’s more than 10 per cent of all Surrey’s students – were themselves shoe-horned into these boxes, which are sometimes sweltering during the summer and freezing during winter.

What we have learned, thanks to the fine reportage by Lauren Collins and Amy Reid, the authors of this series, is that politicians at all levels of government recognize better communication and co-ordination are needed to tackle the long-standing problem of overcrowding.

And yet, instead of working together to fix this problem, they instead have behaved like solitary bodies moving farther apart in an ever-expanding universe.

Perhaps it sounds trite to say our children deserve much better than to be jammed into schools like sardines.

But they certainly do, and this is going to take a concerted team effort on the part of all levels of government to improve this situation.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

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