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College of Teachers concerned about EIC proposal

September 11 1997

TORONTO – The chair of the new professional college responsible for regulating Ontario’s teaching profession has serious reservations about the Education Improvement Commission’s recommendation to add instructors who are not qualified teachers in the province’s schools.

Donna Marie Kennedy, Chair of the Ontario College of Teachers, said today that the proposal would undermine accountability to parents and students.

"The College of Teachers is a professional body that ensures accountability to students, parents and the public. Allowing individuals into publicly-funded classrooms who do not meet the criteria for membership in the College will create a two-tier system that will not give either students or parents the assurance that all those who provide instruction meet the standards expected of qualified teachers. Surely people who provide guidance counselling, physical education and technological education services should be qualified to teach and should be regulated in terms of their qualifications.

"There seems to be a naïve assumption that people who are not adequately trained and certified are able to teach in the classroom. The College can not ensure that the pre-service education of these individuals meets the standards set by the College and would be unable to regulate their standards of practice or discipline them for professional misconduct or incompetence.

"As the professional body for teachers, we believe it is unacceptable to add, into Ontario schools, instructors who are not qualified teachers and who are not subject to professional discipline. We look forward to an opportunity to discuss our concerns with the Minister of Education and Training," Kennedy concluded.

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