Education Week 2018: A World of Learning for Every Student
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.
The Honourable Gordon Wyant, Minister of Education, visits a classroom in one of Saskatchewan’s 27 school divisions.