Education plan worthy of our input

The Government of Saskatchewan is inviting input from everyone in Saskatchewan who has an interest in education.

They are providing the opportunity through an online survey, which will be open until May 10.

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The survey is attempting to be inclusive, with one geared to students, and a second one for the rest of us.

The survey asks respondents to offer perspectives on issues such as student supports, mental health, Indigenous-focussed subject matter and early childhood education.

The results of the survey are supposed be one element used to design a five-to-ten-year plan on the future of education past 2020, which the Ministry of Education is building in partnership with the education sector.

The idea of a plan of course is a good one. It should lay out some specific goals for the education system with the success of the plan being able to measure how well they follow that plan.

But the process has already hit some bumps, based on politics.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) has already walked away from the planning process and is instead working on its own Re-imagine Education project.

To have a key partner in education such as the teachers off forging their own plan should be seen as worrisome to both the government and the public.

It is problematic that teachers trust the government who ultimately sets the agenda for education, and foots the bills, so little as to walk away from the process.

The public has to wonder if the ultimate plan created by the government will include insights from the frontline workers who teach our students daily? Yes, there will be an STF plan to draw from, but whether the government listens after the teachers walked away from process is a huge question mark.

The process should transcend politics though because education truly is the foundation for a society.

Increasingly, we see that in spite of living in a world were massive amounts of information are at all of our fingertips, that the knowledge of many seems to be in limited supply. For example, how in this time of mass information are there those who still doubt the Jewish Holocaust, or believe man has never stepped on the moon.

Only education, can address such things, wide ranging education for all.

So we need to have input on the Saskatchewan plan to ensure we continue a vibrant education system, and not follow the disturbing direction recently unveiled in Ontario where the Ministry of Education has noted an estimated 3,475 teaching positions will be lost in the province over the next four years.

The Saskatchewan survey is at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/public-consultations/provincial-education-plan/provide-your-feedback

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