Kirby tours Burin Penin­sula to hear ed­u­ca­tors’ con­cerns

In­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion a com­mon is­sue for most school, min­is­ter says

The Southern Gazette - - PEOPLE - BY COLIN FAR­RELL

In­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion and all­day kinder­garten were two is­sues staff at Sacred Heart Academy brought up dur­ing a visit from Dale Kirby, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and Early child­hood De­vel­op­ment.

Kirby said many of the is­sues he heard dur­ing the visit have been echoed in other schools across the province.

“A lot of the themes are very much the same,” he said. “The whole is­sue of in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion and the chal­lenges of ac­com­mo­dat­ing stu­dents with di­verse needs – it’s a com­mon thing we’ve heard, and I un­der­stand a com­mon thing the premier’s task force (on ed­u­ca­tion) has heard as well, so it will have to be a pri­or­ity area for us.”

“The whole is­sue of in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion and the chal­lenges of ac­com­mo­dat­ing stu­dents with di­verse needs – it’s a com­mon thing we’ve heard, and I un­der­stand a com­mon thing the premier’s task force (on ed­u­ca­tion) has heard as well, so it will have to be a pri­or­ity area for us.”

Dale Kirby, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment

He also spoke briefly about the fu­ture of schools on the Burin Penin­sula, and the pos­i­tive eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment oc­cur­ring in the area.

“We’ve got new jobs now with the work that’s (go­ing on) up at the fluorspar mine in St. Lawrence,” he said.

“We’re very hope­ful there will be aqua­cul­ture de­vel­op­ment in this area soon, and ship­yard ac­tiv­ity that will (be an in­cen­tive) for other spinoff and sec­ondary eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, so I’m re­ally op­ti­mistic.”

Hav­ing grown up on the Burin Penin­sula, Kirby said he hopes to see growth in eco­nomic de- vel­op­ment on the penin­sula.

“If we can get growth down here and op­por­tu­nity, then there will be jobs –

that means peo­ple will come here, stay here and have their kids here.”

Kirby said he re­ceived some pos­i­tive re­marks from Kinder­garten teach­ers about the all­day pro­gram.

“It is re­ally re­as­sur­ing from the Kinder­garten teach­ers that full- day Kinder­garten has been suc­cess­ful and they’re see­ing the ben­e­fits of it here at Sacred Heart.”

Kirby also vis­ited St. Joseph’s All-Grade School in Ter­renceville and Christ the King School in Rushoon dur­ing his time on the Burin Penin­sula, joined by Pla­cen­tia West- Belle­vue MHA Mark Browne.

Stu­dents in Ms. Foot’s mu­sic class at Sacred Heart Academy put on a per­for­mance of the Brass But­ton Man dur­ing a visit by Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dale Kirby, and Pla­cen­tia West-Belle­vue MHA Mark Browne.

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