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chrisjohns

SD5 lukewarm to new BC Education PlanPosted: July 3, 2012

B.C.’s education system has been in the spotlight this past school year with most of the focus placed on teacher bargaining. Receiving somewhat less attention was Minister of Education George Abbott’s announcement of the BC Education Plan.

The plan, according to Abbott, is “inspired by innovative change already taking place in B.C. communities” and focuses on five key elements, including personalized learning, flexibility and choice, and, learning powered by technology.

School District No. 5 (SD5) Trustee Chris Johns (pictured above) confirmed the district is committed to reviewing the plan and providing input back to government.

“We took the initiative to host a community forum last month with students, parents, teachers and other education stakeholders,” said Johns who facilitated the forum. “We understand that the Ministry is going to begin implementation of the plan in the fall, and we want to make sure our communities’ views are well represented.”

According to Johns, the school community seems to be skeptical about the plan.

“The key issues that kept resurfacing during the forum were concerns about the lack of adequate funding and supports for the existing system, a lack of focus on Aboriginal and special needs students, and the overall vagueness of the plan.”

Government is providing some funding for the 2013 school year to help school districts introduce elements of the BC Education Plan. Johns points out that while the province will be providing $20 per student for a total of $105,060 to SD5, this funding is not confirmed for future years.

“We’ve seen these kinds of initiatives come and go, and you never know if it’s just dress up or the real deal,” said Johns. “I remain hopeful that the ministry will provide the necessary funding to implement these concepts and to support our students for the future.”

A copy of SD5 feedback to government will be available for download on at sd5.bc.ca. For more information on the BC Education Plan please visit bcedplan.ca.

School District No. 5

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