James Aylward - custom

Government should consider more classroom hours to improve student achievement, says education critic James Aylward.

The P.E.I. government should explore all options to try to improve success rates for Island students, including extending the school year or making the school day longer.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada show Island students spend 47 fewer hours in class each year compared to the national average. That's about two weeks' worth of classes.

"We should be looking at every option. Nothing should be left to chance," said Opposition education critic James Aylward.

"Right now we have a government, we have a premier, we have a minister that all they want to do is add PD days. They're not looking at any other options other than adding PD days."

This week the government unveiled a new school calendar that adds more time for professional development for teachers without taking away time from the classroom. The school year was extended two days.

The Home and School Federation also says it's time to look at adding more instructional time for students.

For mobile device users: Should P.E.I. students spend more time in the classroom?