Commits to action in four areas: early childhood education, supports for students, equitable measures for equal opportunity, and support for teachers and schools.
For Immediate Release
(November 9, 2017) Saskatoon, SK — Real progress in ensuring top quality education in every classroom across the province requires action in four areas: early childhood education, supports for students, equitable measures for equal opportunity, and support for teachers and schools.
With a specific focus on those themes, Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate Ryan Meili released his policy vision for education in Saskatchewan, which proposes that Saskatchewan:
- Introduce a Saskatchewan Ministry of the Child that unites the public sector in service of families and children with the goal of making Saskatchewan the best place in the world to be a child;
- Develop a Made-in-Saskatchewan affordable early childhood education program;
- Expand opportunities to upgrade early childhood education skills, such as expanding the number of licensed childcare spaces and supporting non-licensed providers with training in early child development, education and first aid, and provide support for parents working irregular hours;
- Strengthen the community schools model by introducing more supports, such as mental health supports, clinical services, social services, early learning, and elder care, as determined by the needs of the local community;
- Identify the right mix of teachers and educational assistants to support today’s integrated classrooms, including children with special needs or students learning English or French as an additional language;
- Enhance assessment and evaluation capacity and shift emphasis from standardized testing to individualized, formative assessment;
- Ensure K-12 curriculum includes the development of cultural competency by including instruction on Treaty peoples, Indigenous Peoples’ languages, customs and ways of knowing, and the legacy of Residential Schools;
- Roll out a nutritious school lunch program in Saskatchewan schools so that no child goes to school too hungry to learn;
- Partner with First Nations and invest in education on-reserve to help students achieve the same graduation rates that young people off-reserve achieve;
- Involve small rural communities facing school closures in finding solutions, including the integration of child care and other family services, to keep schools open;
- Return autonomy to local communities by repealing Bill 63 and returning the capacity of school boards to set their own mill rates in order to meet locally identified needs;
- Reinstate NORTEP and expand the TEP model to provide undergraduate training for teachers in more rural and remote communities;
- Ensure school technological infrastructure is able to meet today’s needs.
“Saskatchewan has a world-class public education system, but the Sask. Party government’s undermining and underfunding of both teachers and schools has limited the effectiveness of school boards, damaged the morale of educators, and is making it increasingly difficult for Saskatchewan children to get the quality education they deserve,” said Meili. “Providing top quality education from the early years to post-secondary is an essential investment in Saskatchewan’s long-term success.
“By working together towards the shared and clearly identified goal of achieving child wellbeing, Saskatchewan can build on the strengths in our education system to lead the way in making smart investments in children the foundation of a healthy society.”
This policy release follows the release of Meili's post-secondary education policy last week.
Both policy statements are available on Meili’s campaign website.
For comment from Ryan Meili, please contact