Companies charge for private programs at recess and lunch in Ottawa public schools

The Ottawa Citizen

Similar programs may exist in other cities, but the Ottawa Citizen ran a story about the emerging trend of companies running phys-ed, arts and science programs during recess and lunch at Ottawa public schools.

The article raises community concerns, including that “The practice raises questions about the entry of private companies into the school day, fairness for children who can’t afford the fees, and even the nature of recess: should it be preserved for free play?”

The article features a local parent and school council member Jennifer Small who comments:

“Recess is a time for kids just to let loose and be creative on their own. And quite frankly, it’s only about 20 minutes. Do we really need someone telling them what to do?” It may look like the children are just running around, but they are also learning how to get along with others and exercising their creativity” … “The question should be: if these programs are so important as a way of really enriching the education and the lives of all kids, should we not provide them to all kids?” … “I’m not a fan of stealth privatization of the school system by creating a two-tier system for those who can afford to pay. I find it really sad. Schools are in a fantastic position to provide access to these fabulous programs that kids from lower incomes can’t necessarily access.”