Surrey Board of Trade offers classes while teachers’ strike continues

SURREY —Surrey Board of Trade is enterprisingly offering alternative courses as the ongoing teachers’ strike interrupts the elementary and secondary school year. Through partnerships, the BoT is able to offer the courses for free to students, starting in what would be their third week of the 2014/2015 school year.

“After Labour Day, there seemed to be no end to this teachers’ strike,” Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey’s Board of Trade, told the Now. “We found and heard that our business members had to change their shift schedules to accommodate staff. I, myself, as an employer had to do the same, so that just got me thinking, ‘What can we do from a leadership perspective, because education is so important, for our business community and our economy?’”

Huberman noted that the BoT, along with business partners, would be offering three different programs, tuition-free. Two of them would last until the strike ends, with the third program, an entrepreneur and leadership program for secondary school students aged 16 to 18, would continue on.

The first program, partnered with Spirit of Math, would offer math classes for students from grades 1 to 9. Huberman said the classes’ maximum number of students would be 150, and would take place during the daytime beside the Board of Trade office.

For students in grades 10 to 12, free online courses in different subjects will be offered until the strike is over.

“So we’re trying to give them a leg up. We want them to be active in their education, not just sitting at home and playing,” Huberman said.

The entrepreneur and leadership course starting in October, Huberman said, “has been in play for quite some time.”

“It’s important for all students, not just for Surrey, but we are focused on work force, entrepreneurial development for our businesses today and tomorrow,” she said. “Having our kids out of school, which is a critical time of the year for learning, compromises their school year and their education… We do hope the teachers’ strike concludes very soon; it can’t go on like this.”

Details on the free courses can be found at Businessinsurrey.com.

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