The Teacher’s associations of Ontario, the largest province in Canada, have announced that they will boycott student teachers from Nipissing University if that University decides to award an honourary degree to a former Prime Minister of Ontario, Mike Harris. According to this news article, one leader of a prominent Teachers’ Association said,
“Given the insidious treatment of the profession by former Premier Mike Harris, and his total lack of respect for its members, we cannot predict how teachers may demonstrate their displeasure should the university choose to name the new library after, or confer an honorary degree on Harris,” said the letter reads.”
Apparently, Harris, a former teacher himself, made many unpopular education reforms during his tenure as premier, including reducing the power of school boards and mandating teachers undergo regular examinations, sparking a lengthy province-wide teachers’ strike, which he deemed illegal.
The arrogance and unfairness of the teachers’s position just boggles the mind. Harris was elected. He was responsible for policy, including educational policy for the province. The teachers are not some kind of power unto themselves. They do not pay the bills. They are mostly, and I am quite convinced of this, mostly interested in protecting their own positions and imposing their own agenda, while expecting tax payers to just shut up and pay. The government has the right to set policy, not the Teachers Union.
The teachers’ tactics here are those of mass bullying. What better proof than the fact that they would try to penalize graduates of a university simply because of the decision of the head of a university to confer an honourary degree on someone they do not like. This is the lowest kind of blackmail, and bullying. The fact that they are not ashamed to take such a public position says a lot about their state of mind. T
I say it is high time we started to take apart the monopoly position that public education system enjoys. Fund the learners, not the teachers and the administrators.