They hate them apples

By Dean Hetherington

Education students know exactly to whom they’d like to teach a lesson.

Approximately 100 students from the University of Calgary Faculty of Education gathered in front of the U of C Education building on Fri., April 5 to demonstrate against recent cutbacks to teaching resources and teacher salaries.

"We are not going to be able to do our jobs because of our list of obstacles," said first-year Masters’ of Teaching student and rally co-ordinator Nicole Hounjet. "[These include] a teacher-pupil ratio detrimental to both students and teachers, the under funding of special education and neglected school environments that are physically unhealthy. Poor classroom conditions and funding are contributing factors to 50 per cent of beginning teachers leaving the profession with the first three to five years."

Hounjet felt the rally was significant for Education students.

"Considering what has been happening in this province, this is important for the future of Education students," she explained. "Whether they decide to stay here or teach out of province, take a private job or become a public teacher, they all want to be educators of some kind. These recent changes will affect all of us."

Others felt the rally was invaluable, and made for a good show of local support.

"This school is always quite apathetic about protesting anything," said first-year Education student Jason Tackaberry. "I think this is very important for students to support. I’m originally from Ontario and teachers there are at least treated with respect and some dignity."

Hounjet was pleased with the rally’s success.

"I thought students were very responsive to the event," he said. "The day of the rally there were a few more news items displayed in the media regarding some of the school board’s decisions. For us, it was also important to have bodies out there endorsing teachers from the student’s side."

Currently, no future events are planned.

"Classes will be ending pretty soon here but we’ll continue to tell people to write their MLA," explained Hounjet. "We will continue to call other universities and colleges until their semesters end. We in Education want to say that we or any other students wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for our teachers."

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