REGINA -- Regina Public Schools are shifting some teachers away from the class room to online learning to address a larger than expected number of students.

Up to 21 teachers were assigned to online learning at the start of the year, but 2,200 students signed up. Teachers have complained about unmanageable online class sizes.

“Is we had not made the move, the realization of teachers to E School, we would have had class sizes of 50 and 60 students for E School,” Greg Enion, the director of education with Regina Public Schools, said.

Regina Public Schools have moved 45 teachers from classrooms to online learning, creating a pool of 66 online instructors. They are being backfilled in the classroom by the hiring of 28 new teachers and 30 contract substitute teachers.

“Last week we announced $51 million dollars. A great portion of that was to be dedicated to ensuring that online learning could be continued and enhanced,” Gordon Wyant, the Minister of Education, said.

The NDP said the moves are disruptive to students.

“In order to keep transmission low within inside locations such as classrooms really should be looking at class sizes of no more than 15,” Carla Beck, an NDP MLA, said.

The school boards believe they now have the right balance of teachers to students in both the classroom and online. If there are further enrolment shifts during the school year, the provincial government said it may consider more funding.