Editorial columnists are starting to laugh it up at Education Minister Lisa Thompson’s comments on the “resiliency” students in overcrowded classrooms will supposedly develop.
“We’re hearing from professors and employers alike that [students are] lacking coping skills and they’re lacking resiliency,” she told CBC radio host Matt Galloway.”By increasing class sizes in high school, we’re preparing them for the reality of post-secondary as well as the world of work.”
Tabatha Southey, in an article in Maclean’s magazine, suggested that if Thompson really wanted students to be resilient, she should order that tigers patrol school hallways.
“Starting in fall of 2019, Ontario will be introducing live tigers to classrooms,” she joked. “Six big cats prowling the hallway of each primary school will encourage children to learn numeracy, as in ‘What now? How many tigers!’ Communication skills as in, ‘Help me, I’m being eaten by a tiger!’ and of course tourniquet management.”
Emma Teitel, national columnist for the Toronto Star, had a similar outlook in an article she penned after Thompson’s CBC interview.
“If you’re a fan of evidence-based policy in government, you might want to move out of Ontario,” she said. “If you’re a fan of populist sound bites about pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps just like grandpa did in the good old days, by all means, stay put.
“This does not sound like policy by research,” she said of the Ford government’s plans. “It sounds like policy by anecdote.”