Secondary students don’t really like school, survey reveals

  • Jul. 21, 2006 7:00 p.m.

Students on the islands generally feel safe at school, believe that their teachers care about them, and get the chance to exercise or participate in sports during the school day, according to the Ministry of Education’s annual satisfaction survey.
However, many islands students also report that they don’t like school, and more than half of high school students responding to the survey said they aren’t satisfied with what they are learning, are not satisfied with the program choices offered at their school, and do not believe that school is preparing them for either a job or for post-secondary education.
The Ministry conducts the survey every year by asking grade 4, grade 7, grade 10 and grade 12 students a set of questions. It also surveys parents and staff.
This year’s results show that, as in other years, students in grade 4 report the highest levels of satisfaction, and that level drops steadily as students get older. This trend occurs across the whole province as well as in our district.
Most students in grade 4 said they try their best at school, that they are getting better at reading, writing and math, like what they are learning, believe that adults in the school treat them fairly, and are not bullied, teased or picked on.
By contrast, only 33 percent of grade 12s said they liked school, and less than half responded that they were getting better at reading, writing and math. Only 33 percent thought staff treated all students fairly, and just 6 percent reported being satisfied with what they were learning and with the program choices available at their school.
Elementary parents reported generally higher levels of satisfaction than secondary parents. Seventy-nine percent of local elementary parents were satisfied with what their child was learning, compared to 50 percent of secondary parents. Eighty-four percent of elementary parents thought their child was safe at school, while that number dropped to 58 percent of secondary parents. And in this district, 27 percent of secondary parents reported that their child is bullied or teased, compared to just 6 percent across the province. (According to the students themselves, 8 percent of grade 10s here and 11 percent of grade 12s say they are often bullied or teased.)
Staff here are somewhat less satisfied than their counterparts across the province. Only 47 percent were happy with the academic performance of students at their school, compared to 73 percent across BC. Only 70 percent reported that their school has a positive climate, 70 percent said their school provided clear expectations for student behaviour, and 50 percent said the rules related to behaviour were enforced consistently – all much lower than the province-wide response levels to these questions.
In this district, a total of 245 students, parents and staff participated in this year’s survey. You can read the full 40-page report at www.achievebc.ca.

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