NDP wants solutions to overcrowded schools from provincial government

The Saskatchewan NDP is suggesting not enough is being done by the Saskatchewan Party government to alleviate pressures felt in overpopulated schools.

Overcapacity in Regina schools was brought up during question period on Thursday at the legislature. The discussion was initiated following an accommodation review of classrooms in the Regina Public School Division that determined 13 schools will be well over capacity by 2027.

Education critic Carla Beck said they’re calling on an investment into education that actually meets growth.

“The minister likes to stand up and quote global numbers, but the fact is we have schools that are well over 120 per cent capacity forecast within a couple years to be 200 per cent capacity,” explained Beck.

According to the review, École Wascana Plains School anticipates their school population will exceed its capacity by 134 per cent this year. École Harbour Landing School is already over their capacity by 140 per cent.

Beck mentioned how a growing population in the province should be an indicator that more support is needed on this front, but she thinks s it’s clear there is no plan by the government to meet the demands of that growth.

“It is not a solution to have over 200 per cent capacity within elementary schools and expect those students to learn in those conditions or teachers to able to teach in those conditions.

Education minister Gordon Wyant stated they take information from school population projections and their provincial populations into account in making sure there are the right amount of education facilities in the province.

A survey the NDP conducted earlier this year found that two out of every five educators who participated had seriously considered leaving the profession. Beck suggested it’s a result that more is being put on educators’ plates with fewer supports at their disposal and growing numbers in schools.

However Wyant assured they are looking to address the issues affecting stressed teachers.

“Two weeks ago, I announced that we are going to move forward with a consultation around class size and composition, and we know those are two of the largest things causing some stress in classrooms,” he stated. “You’ll be hearing lots more from the government on this over the next short period of time.”

Wyant voiced how their government has been committed to helping school sizes by opening 18 new schools over a couple years ago in fast-growing areas of the province like Regina, Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville.



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