Quality Public Education is the Foundation for Future Success

TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ - Education Week, which takes place during the first week of May this year, is an occasion for parents, students, and teachers to celebrate teaching excellence, student achievement, and the importance of education to our society.

High quality, well-funded public education is a cornerstone of our democratic society. It provides not only the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics, but also a wealth of skills, knowledge, and experiences that help children become good citizens and lead healthy, rewarding, and fulfilling lives.

Public education is also society's equalizer. Regardless of the socio-economic background of students, our public education system must provide the support and assistance that all students need to succeed.

"As front line workers in the quest for quality education, the 76,000 members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) know the importance of ensuring an excellent start to every student's education," says ETFO President Sam Hammond.

"ETFO members teach almost one million students in over 2,600 schools across Ontario, and are committed to the goal of giving all students the very best education. As lifelong learners, elementary teachers engage in ongoing professional development to enhance their professional skills so they can improve learning outcomes for all students."

Quality education, which is the foundation for future success, has many components, says Hammond. It starts with a solid grounding in academic subjects, but it also must include an understanding of the arts, and the ability to think independently.

"We have seen significant improvements in elementary education in Ontario over the past few years, including smaller class sizes; more specialist teachers to support music, physical education and arts programs; improved working conditions for teachers; and a commitment to provide full-day kindergarten to every four- and five year-old child. Continued investment in public education will ensure that student achievement in Ontario continues to be amongst the best in the world," Hammond says.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sam Hammond, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836 (Office); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416) 962-3836 (office), (416) 948-0195 (cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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