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Amendments ensure that teachers will be qualified

October 30 1997

TORONTO – The Ontario College of Teachers, the professional body responsible for licensing and regulating Ontario’s teachers, says amendments to Bill 160 announced today respond to the College’s concerns.

"We are pleased that Minister of Education and Training, Dave Johnson, has listened to the College and removed the possibility that non-certified instructors will replace qualified teachers in Ontario’s classrooms," said College Chair, Donna Marie Kennedy.

The College had recommended the withdrawal of four clauses of the Education Quality Improvement Act, 1997 that would have given the Minister of Education and Training broad regulation making powers that would have permitted the hiring of unqualified teachers. All four of these clauses were withdrawn.

College Registrar Margaret Wilson welcomed clarification on the issue. "We were concerned that these sections would have undermined the College’s ability to ensure that teachers are competent and qualified. We are relieved that the government has responded to the College’s concerns."

The Minister also introduced an amendment that gives the government the authority to regulate the duties and qualifications of people assigned to assist teachers or to complement instruction by qualified teachers in our schools.

"Ontario school boards currently hire teachers’ assistants and paraprofessionals," said Wilson. "Where this is the case, a qualified teacher is responsible for program planning and delivery, student assessment, liaison with parents, as well as supervision of the individual who assists in the classroom. Today’s amendments will ensure that this remains the case."

The College of Teachers is a self-regulating body created by the Ontario Legislature in 1996 to regulate the teaching profession in the public interest. It sets ethical and professional standards for teachers, establishes teaching qualifications and accredits education program providers and programs.

"The Ontario College of Teachers is committed to sustaining and improving the quality of the teaching profession and therefore the service received by students, parents and the public of Ontario in our schools," Kennedy said.

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