Class sizes more important than Wi-Fi

By Molly Doyle (Letter of the Day)

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian) comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 29, 2015

The hot topic in education right now is all about putting Wi-Fi in our Island schools. Wi-Fi is not important right now. What is important is the increase in class sizes on P.E.I.

What our government should be focusing on is class sizes. All four grade five English classes here at Stratford Elementary School have more than 25 students. That is not OK. The more advanced students in these classes will slowly go down to average because the teacher will be mainly focusing on helping the kids who struggle.

In my math class, there are 29 kids. I know that our teacher spends most of her time with the kids who need more help because that is where she is needed most. I see reasons why, but I believe there should be more support in classrooms challenging the stronger students to help them improve at their own speed.

Class sizes are becoming a serious problem in some schools. At Stratford Elementary, the average class size in grade five this past year was 27.6 students.

What Premier MacLauchlan needs to do is to get more teaching jobs in our Island schools. Wi-Fi will cost a lot. Invest that money in teachers. What do we need more? Mr. MacLauchlan has to prioritize.

Class sizes will slowly increase over the years to come. In kindergarten, there is a maximum number of eighteen students per class. I think there should be a maximum number of students in every class, at every grade. I believe a reasonable amount at every grade (kindergarten as an exception) would be around twenty-one students.

Most kindergarten classes at Glen Stewart Primary are at that 18-student limit. When class sizes are smaller in primary and elementary school, students are more successful in the long term.

Class sizes grow by two or more students between primary and secondary schools. If classes in elementary schools have around 30 students, growing by two or more students going into secondary school is a crazy thought!

The average amount of students in classes in Finland, (highly regarded as number one school system in the world) has an average of twenty students per class.

Smaller class sizes will benefit everyone. That is why our government should reconsider Wi-Fi and re-think cutting teaching jobs.

 

Molly Doyle is a Grade 5 student at Stratford Elementary School who wrote this letter as part of her class for the unit on persuasive writing.