Opposition says NLTA is right to speak
out on classroom issues
December 22, 2006
Roland Butler, Opposition Critic for Education and MHA for the District of
Port De Grave, says the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association (NLTA) is
doing the right thing by speaking publicly about the need to improve learning
conditions for students in this province.
"Teachers have a professional responsibility to speak out and bring attention
to issues that impact on students in this province," said Mr. Butler. "Rather
than whining about this issue, the premier should start listening to what they
have to say. The NLTA have highlighted some serious deficiencies in the school
system and government should address them in a responsible manner."
The Liberal MHA says instead of asking these questions in the House of
Assembly, he was forced to put the questions forward in the mock question period
held last Wednesday because of the hasty way in which government scrambled to
closed the legislature. "Iíve asked the Minister of Education publicly when
teachers can expect to receive the significant increase in resources needed to
make the pathways model work. The NLTA has made the point that, while they
support providing quality learning environments and experiences to children of
varying abilities, there must be a recognition of the significant resources
necessary to provide this individualized level of service.
"The Premier is very sensitive to criticism and whenever someone makes a
point that may reflect negatively on his government, he tries to bully them into
silence. I think the people of this province are beginning to see the real Danny
Williams in the last few months."
Other concerns raised by the NLTA that Butler would like to see addressed by
government are changes to the way in which teaching units are allocated in this
province, the lack of adequate supports for new technology, the need for
additional support services in rural schools and the lack of substitute days for
"The NLTA has made some good points on these issues and the government should
start listening. The union has brought forward solid evidence on these issues,
and instead of intimidation tactics aimed at silencing the union, it is time
government start acting for the betterment of our education system."