Schools becoming increasingly empty

Usually filled with busy students and their support workers, the north science lab at Hughenden Public School is eerily vacant these days. ECA Review/Submitted

The halls of Hughenden Public School (HPS) have grown even more empty since the laying off of all educational assistants (EAs) throughout the school on May 1.

The EAs were laid off due to education cuts resulting from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I can tell you that our EAs are a very important part of our team,” said HPS teacher, Kimberly Hoty, “and they worked hard each day during school lockout to make sure that nobody was struggling at home learning on their own. 

“It saddens me to think that some students will not be as successful at home without their support.”

The official Opposition Party of Alberta, the NDP, has also said this will harm students who need extra help.

However, the Conservatives believe the 128 million dollars that would be used to pay EAs is needed more elsewhere in Alberta’s COVID-19 response.

HPS is not the only school facing this, as all schools across Alberta have had budget cuts to deal with.

HPS student Rylee Lunde said, “I miss them and hope to see them next year.”

In this time of crisis, it has been said the EAs will return to schools for the upcoming school year starting September, and all staff and students have expressed that they are looking forward to welcoming back these important team members.


by Hunter Motley

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