Ed­u­ca­tion Week 2018: A World of Learn­ing for Ev­ery Stu­dent

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - EDUCATION WEEK 2018 - by Gor­don Wyant Saskatchewan Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion

Oc­to­ber 14 marks the begin­ning of Ed­u­ca­tion Week in Saskatchewan, an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate learn­ing, ap­plaud the achieve­ments of our stu­dents, and ac­knowl­edge the out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions made by ed­u­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als through­out our province.

This year’s theme – A World of Learn­ing for Ev­ery Stu­dent – rec­og­nizes the mul­ti­ple path­ways to learn­ing that are avail­able to our stu­dents and also high­lights the tremen­dous im­pact of our ed­u­ca­tors in broad­en­ing the hori­zons and en­rich­ing the lives of Saskatchewan stu­dents.

Pre­par­ing stu­dents for fu­ture suc­cess is at the heart of ev­ery­thing we do. With nearly 190,000 stu­dents in our 27 school di­vi­sions, and more than 205,000 stu­dents province-wide in­clud­ing First Na­tions stu­dents on­re­serve, our goals out­lined in the Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­tor Strate­gic Plan are tied to en­sur­ing each of these stu­dents reach their full po­ten­tial. The pos­i­tive re­sults can be seen in im­proved read­ing lev­els and grad­u­a­tion rates. The lat­est data shows a 10 per cent in­crease in Grade 3 stu­dents read­ing at or above grade level com­pared to 2013, and the pro­vin­cial grad­u­a­tion rate is the high­est it has been in 20 years. But the re­sults can also be seen in the in­spir­ing achieve­ments of our stu­dents and the in­no­va­tive stu­dent-driven ini­tia­tives be­ing cre­ated in our province.

Stu­dents from across the province are ac­tively en­gaged in their learn­ing. We have a high school stu­dent in Fort Qu’Ap­pelle who im­ple­mented a suc­cess­ful break­fast pro­gram for her fel­low stu­dents through her Lead­er­ship 30 class. There are six Saskatchewan high school groups who re­ceived awards for their stu­dent-led ini­tia­tives in ar­eas rang­ing from peer coun­selling and men­tor­ship to men­tal health and bul­ly­ing. And three Saskatchewan stu­dents re­ceiv­ing the pres­ti­gious Schulich Leader Schol­ar­ships which rec­og­nize their achieve­ments as fu­ture in­no­va­tors in sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, and math­e­mat­ics. Whether their ef­forts are ac­knowl­edged pub­licly or not, whether it is through their aca­demic achieve­ments or their com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, we rec­og­nize that ev­ery stu­dent has the abil­ity to be an in­no­va­tor, a dif­fer­ence maker and a fu­ture leader.

As a govern­ment, we are proud of the work our teach­ers do in class­rooms across the province to en­sure learn­ing is ac­ces­si­ble and en­gag­ing to all stu­dents. We know that ed­u­ca­tion in Saskatchewan is not one-size-fits-all. Unique chal­lenges in class­rooms through­out the province de­mand in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions. Our ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor has risen to that chal­lenge, of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of op­tions, learn­ing meth­ods, and lo­cally de­vel­oped ap­proaches to meet the learn­ing needs of ev­ery stu­dent.

In­no­va­tion and re­newal are tak­ing place in a num­ber of ar­eas. Cur­ricu­lum re­newal is on­go­ing, en­sur­ing we have a mod­ern­ized ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that meets the needs of to­day’s stu­dents. New in­struc­tion in cod­ing and robotics and fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy will cre­ate ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents, of­fer­ing them more choices af­ter they grad­u­ate and bet­ter pre­par­ing them for the fu­ture with its chang­ing econ­omy and ad­vanc­ing tech­nolo­gies.

Re­newal and col­lab­o­ra­tion will con­tinue to be key el­e­ments in our ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor mov­ing for­ward. Our govern­ment has com­mit­ted to a re­newed and re­spect­ful re­la­tion­ship with all of our ed­u­ca­tion part­ners. With an ad­di­tional $30 mil­lion pro­vided for the class­rooms in the 2018-19 school year, we are al­ready see­ing that fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in our schools and ben­e­fit­ing stu­dents and teach­ers in the class­room. Whether you are a par­ent, a teacher, or a trustee, ev­ery­one in­volved in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor shares the com­mon goal of see­ing stu­dents suc­ceed and build a foun­da­tion for their fu­ture. In order to con­tinue strength­en­ing our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, we must con­tinue work­ing to­gether and that means keep­ing our fo­cus on what mat­ters most – the stu­dents.

On be­half of the Govern­ment of Saskatchewan, I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to take this op­por­tu­nity dur­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Week to ac­knowl­edge the im­por­tant work of our ed­u­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als and to cel­e­brate the many suc­cesses and tremen­dous po­ten­tial of Saskatchewan stu­dents.

Sup­plied photo

The Hon­ourable Gor­don Wyant, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, vis­its a class­room in one of Saskatchewan’s 27 school di­vi­sions.

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