Public education rally draws crowds as Albertans take photos of UCP
About 100 Albertans gathered on Saturday for a rally in support of public education.
Standing outside the McDougall Center in Calgary, speakers discussed recent changes in the way students learn and teachers teach under the UCP government.
They say it puts the province at a disadvantage.
“We are here today to defend public education,” said Medeana Moussa with Support Our Students. “It’s under rapid fire from the UCP.”
A number of issues were mentioned during the hour-long event, but perhaps none were more controversial than a UCP rewrite of the educational material.
“This program is regressive, it is outdated and it will not prepare students for their future,” Moussa said.
It was announced this week that schools in the Northwest Territories will phase out use of the Alberta curriculum as the rewrite is put on hold for further consultation.
The province says the break is to talk with more people and that this could bring, according to the premier, “improvements and changes.”
Many participants at the rally are also concerned about funding for schools and what they believe is a push to privatize the education system.
The province maintains that funding has remained relatively constant since taking office, but many point out that as schools grow, the money per student has declined.
Participants at the rally also discussed a recent “attack on teachers” in the province.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange shot at the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) after revelations she failed to report one of its members to police who admitted to “mentally and physically” mistreated his students.
“Teachers have felt disrespectful and demoralized by this government for years,” WTA President Jason Schilling told CTV News. “Once you ruin this culture in our schools in Alberta, it will take a long time to rebuild it. “
Earlier this month, LaGrange said “the process for disciplining teachers needs to be improved.” His department is currently studying the matter.