The Nova Scotia provincial government is about to review its school governance policies, which point to a broader “community” approach.
Nova Scotia Education Minister Becky Druhan told PKBNEWS changes could come in the coming weeks aimed at “maximizing local voice.” The changes come as students are expected to return to cla*s on Thursday morning.
A survey was sent to parents, some school staff and community members to get feedback on the model as it stands. A freedom of information request obtained by the Nova Scotia NDP and provided to PKBNEWS identified a number of complaints about the system in this investigation.
Some of the responses were:
- “Bring back the school boards. Parents don’t know where to go in the system for help.
- “Re-establish school boards. Someone to talk to, who feels heard locally, like a member of the school board.
- “Bring back the school boards so we can have someone to be our voice. »
- “Bring back the school boards. The fact that information flows directly from the MPE to the NCEs maintains political decisions and diminishes the local voice, because the people of the NCE are the employees of the MPE, so the hierarchy limits meaningful local comments.
Claudia Chender, leader of the Nova Scotia NDP, said Wednesday that Nova Scotia’s school system has changed rapidly over the past five years.
The Halifax Regional Education Center estimates that there have been nearly 8,000 new education enrollments over the past five years, with enrollments daily. Chender believes the changes are long overdue.
In 2018, the then education minister told Chender that the responsibility for complaints against the school system would lie with local MPs. The representative from Dartmouth South pointed out that many of the MPs representing their district may not have a complete overview of the school system and the solutions underway.
“We need to keep an eye on our schools, and no one can do that better than an elected body of school boards,” Chender said.
“It is now clear that their own commitment indicates that it is necessary.”
Five years ago, the Liberal government adopted the 22 recommendations included in a report by consultant Avis Glaze, which sought to change the education system “for the better” and improve student success.
The initial phase saw the province act on 11 recommendations, including the elimination of elected councils. This means that the councils have been replaced by a single appointed provincial advisory council.
Later in 2021, the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia pledged to reinstate school boards, update school curricula to include topics such as financial literacy, diversity and managing environment, implement all recommendations of the 2018 Commission on Inclusive Education report and create new grants. for schools to purchase tools that support healthy lifestyles.
Druhan could not comment on details of the changes.
— with files from Elizabeth McSheffrey and The Canadian Press
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