February 27, 2018
KJIPUKTUK (HALIFAX, NS) – The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers (NSCSW) stands in solidarity with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) and their call to pause the rushed implementation of the Glaze report.
Nova Scotians continue to face significant changes to family and community structures intensifying the complexity of needs of children, youth and families.
Our province consistently fails to truly understand the structural issues that impact child and youth welfare. Nova Scotian children and youth education is profoundly impacted by stressors including income and food insecurity, colonial and racial biases, and our failure to understand trauma.
Our province’s increasing inequality intensifies these stressors which leaves our most vulnerable population at risk and their concerns unnoticed. This erodes trust, increases anxiety and illness which has a lasting impact on a range of social issues.
Our education system undoubtedly needs changes to address these complexities.
The Glaze report’s proposed changes do not address or acknowledge these structural issues. The report focuses on centralizing an administrative system and eroding local decision making which will embed the current stressors even further.
Pushing for more bureaucracy within the education system over local decision making will be used to hold the education system accountable to the bottom line, rather than creating a student centric lens that can adapt to the changing needs of communities.
Social workers have experienced firsthand the negative outcomes of a centralized administrative system. The transformation of both the child protection system and health care system increased social worker caseloads, created a scarcity of resources and a failure of system administrators to truly hear community voices.
A more fulsome structural and impact analysis needs to be completed before implementation begins. There must be further consultation and analysis rooted in:
- The need to work towards the common good. We need to connect education outcomes with our province’s need for sustainable investments in areas such as housing, mental health, income and food security.
- The need to address the legacies of colonialism and racism. We must work in solidarity towards liberation from the effects of oppressive behavioural patterns and work to unlearn oppressive attitudes and assumptions for students to thrive.
- The need to work towards greater democratic participation. We must build structures that allow Nova Scotians to hold their government accountable and increase meaningful participation in government policy creation to advance our common good.
We’re for an education system that addresses all issues impacting education. We’re with our teachers.