Alarm bells are ringing regarding the safety of our kids

A report compiled by Saskatchewan teachers for the Chief Public Health Officer shows that kids are less safe in classrooms as a result of the Sask. Party’s mismanagement and cuts to schools. 

“Years of Sask. Party cuts left schools in a place where they couldn’t manage by themselves, and now Scott Moe is still refusing to put our kids first,” said Carla Beck, candidate for Regina Lakeview. “Cuts to education are a bad idea anytime – now, they’re downright dangerous.” 

Last week, the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation, at the request of Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, undertook a survey of their members to provide a snapshot of teachers' experiences. The report paints a picture of an education system that has not received the supports needed to keep kids safe:

  • Eighty-nine per cent of teachers reported they cannot maintain a two-metre distance among their students.
  • Twenty-two per cent say they do not have access to enough PPE in the classroom, either because they are running out or because they have not even received any. 
  • Forty-two per cent said they teach more than thirty students a day. 

“Underfunding over the last few years has led to crowded classrooms, and now schools are struggling to maintain a two-metre distance, making our kids less safe,” said Beck. “We can’t ignore these issues in our schools, and we need to invest in classrooms and support teachers so that our kids can learn safely.” 

Tomorrow, October 5, is World Teachers’ Day. New Democrats believe we should honour and support the work that teachers do every day, but especially during a pandemic when doing anything but is dangerous. Schools should be given every resource they need to keep class sizes small and help students continue learning, but the Sask. Party is ignoring the alarm bells. New Democrats have already committed to investing in schools to keep class sizes small, and ensure teachers and students are supported.