Sunday, 17 February 2019

Teachers Union president Paul Wozney is not impressed with the first meeting of the government-appointed Provincial Advisory Council on Education (PACE). Presented as somewhat of a a replacement for disbanded school boards, it turns out PACE’s ‘meetings will not be public, and based on the sparse minutes of its first meeting the government intends to limit any actual influence the group can have on its decision making process and sweeping power over public schools.

NSTU president Paul Wozney on this year’s chaotic start of school: “It’s important to set a few things straight. First and foremost, contrary to what Minister Churchill has said, not having proper bus service in place for students to start the school year is not par for the course. Nor is having dozens of support and specialist positions left unfilled at this juncture, for that matter. This dysfunction is far from business as usual, and it would appear the government’s elimination of school boards has led to a great deal of confusion and turmoil within the system.”

The provincial government’s recent announcement of a new free pre-primary program for children turning four is good news for parents, write Christine Saulnier and Tammy Findlay. But its implementation seems rushed and is occurring without meaningful consultation, and that is dangerous. We need a funded transition plan to a full system for all children in Nova Scotia.

Caring for a child is work, but society doesn’t seem to see it that way. “Single parents on welfare are often portrayed as lazy or ‘getting a free ride’; as though their children effortlessly raise themselves,” writes new contributor Lenore Hemming. “It’s interesting that our society only views child care as valuable if it is someone else’s child.”

Nova Scotia definitely has made progress in terms of teaching students about Indian Residential Schools, treaties, and the contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis to Canada. But there is much more work to do, and a petition with 1700 signatures delivered at Province House yesterday serves as a reminder. Teaching the teachers would be a good start, says KAIROS Atlantic.