Government can better serve schools
Students, parents and educators around our province are busy preparing for what will hopefully be another successful school year. This is a time of renewal — a time filled with hope and anticipation. Unfortunately, for many families it is also a time faced with trepidation about the quality of education our students are receiving.
The Auditor General has recently reported serious deficiencies in the provision of teacher professional development. And, teachers have repeatedly indicated they simply do not have the supports they need to effectively deliver the problematic math curriculum. The Auditor General has noted that curriculum professional development for teachers has not been implemented according to the best practices, that schools have not completed required training, and do not always have the resources needed to do so.
Professional development is crit- ical since parents expect teachers to effectively teach the required curriculum using the most current teaching and learning strategies. When teachers are not adequately supported, the inevitable outcome is that our children are left ill-prepared to succeed and compete academically. Since 2003, mathematics scores for students in Newfoundland and Labrador have continued to decline, yet teachers are still not receiving adequate resources for professional development.
When the school year ended in June I raised this issue publicly and anticipated that Government would take action and do the right thing. In the House of Assembly I asked the Minister of Education to take action to resolve this situation before the start of a new school year. That was 11 weeks ago, and still government has neglected to provide additional resources for teachers or new supports for students.
Instead we are heading into a new school year with fewer teachers and in some cases larger class sizes. The current government has chosen, contrary to the advice of educators and the Auditor General, not to make quality education a priority for our children. Rather than sharing in the back-to-school excitement, we are left wondering how our educators will manage another school year with fewer resources and supports.
Dale Kirby is the opposition MHA responsible for Education and Early Childhood Development
When teachers are not adequately supported, the inevitable outcome is that our children are left ill-prepared to succeed and compete academically.