Government announcement misses the mark

TORONTO, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - "Today's announcement misses the mark on the most pressing issue facing teachers today, which is the inability of thousands of qualified teachers to get permanent full-time jobs," says Kevin O'Dwyer, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), in response to the Minister of Education's announcement.

"Expanding the length of faculty of education programs to two years is not necessary and will do nothing to help those certified teachers who are currently looking for work."

Ontario teachers are already among the best trained and qualified in the world. Ontario has received international recognition for the quality and professionalism of its teachers who have graduated from the current BEd program. Learning for teachers does not end upon graduation. The ongoing professional learning needs of Ontario's teachers are well served through an established system of formal 'additional qualifications' (AQ) courses and other less formal learning opportunities. Additionally, the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) and the experience that newer teachers gain from work as occasional teachers also provides valuable, practical, experience, support and feedback.

According to statistics compiled by the Ontario College of Teachers, every year in Ontario there are at least 7,000 more teachers seeking work than there are available teaching positions. As these numbers compound every year, the result is thousands of qualified and eager teachers employed on an occasional or part-time basis for upwards of five years before being able to secure permanent full-time work.

"The irony is, that the same day the government announces measures to address the issue of teacher surpluses, school boards are complaining that they cannot find occasional teachers," says O'Dwyer. "I am frustrated with school boards for this false complaint and their objections to Regulation 274, which would establish a fair and transparent process that would give all qualified, unemployed teachers an opportunity for meaningful work."

"Let's talk about why school boards are putting uncertified teachers in classrooms when there are thousands of qualified and experienced teachers they can be hiring," adds O'Dwyer. "That is what I want to talk about."

OECTA represents the 45,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.

SOURCE: Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

For further information:

Michelle Despault, Director of Communications
416-925-2493 ext 509,

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

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