N.S. students and parents look to private tutors as exams approach
Jan 18, 2017
The ongoing work-to-rule campaign by Nova Scotia teachers has some students and parents looking to private tutors for help as exams get closer.
January is always a busy month for professional tutoring services like Sylvan Learning, as high school students prepare for exams. This year, students are worrying about more than just scoring well next week.
“We have a lot of folks calling to say, we don’t know where to turn, our students can’t go after school for their extra help,” says Hannah Horne-Robinson, Sylvan Learning Executive Director.
Horne-Robinson says students here are talking about coming in for help more often, as the dispute drags on.
“I think the biggest disruption is just in the general confusion of what’s going on,” Horne-Robinson continues.
But it seems many parents are looking for a temporary solution, rather than a permanent one.
Gary O’Meara wouldn’t have been surprised to see phones at Armbrae Academy ringing more often.
“But not a lot have identified as specifically calling because of work-to-rule. We have had a few,” says O’Meara, the Headmaster at Armbrae Academy.
At least one grade 12 student at Armbrae made the switch this term from the public system.
O’Meara says labour disruptions in other jurisdictions like B.C. have historically led to higher private school enrollment. In this case, the impact is being felt in different ways.
“It has affected us because we play a lot of the public school teams, there’s debate tournaments,” says O’Meara.
Those games and tournaments are now cancelled, as all extracurricular are put on hold.
Bargaining teams from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the government have been meeting every day this week under a media blackout. This new round of negotiations follows four days of talks last week, which reportedly broke down late Saturday evening.
Even tutoring services have been forced to make adjustments during the job action.
“There have been some teachers who have stopped working with us due to work-to-rule as well, so it has changed our capacity,” says Horne-Robinson.
Adjustments that will continue to be made until a resolution is found at the table.