Announces commitment to review the Education Sector Strategic Plan, ensure funding models reflect the needs of individual students, and a new curriculum component on civic engagement
Today, Saskatchewan Party leadership candidate Gord Wyant outlined his vision for a modern and inclusive K-12 education system in Saskatchewan and committed to ensuring that education resources go directly into the classroom.
“My vision for an accessible, inclusive, and competitive K-12 education system is rooted in the fundamental fact that not a wheel turns within our provincial economy without education,” said Wyant. “Today’s classroom is an increasingly complex environment and it is clear that we need integrated solutions that recognize and support the individual needs of students.”
Acknowledging that students today are entering the classroom with varied and often complex learning, language, cognitive and behavioural challenges, Wyant is committed to a new approach to enhance ‘inclusive education’ in Saskatchewan. This will mean directing government dollars towards programming, professionals, and tailored supports that will show results for high needs students. This new approach starts with a commitment to data-driven decision making and moving beyond a purely per-student funding model.
“No two Saskatchewan students are the same, which is why it is time we modernize our approach to education funding to make it more flexible and adaptable to the individual,” said Wyant. “By using data and analytics, we can direct more intensive supports directly into the classroom to target resources towards the students who need them most.”
As part of his announcement, Wyant stated a firm commitment to working with the federal government to ensure the Treaty right of every First Nations child to a quality education is honoured – and fully funded.
Wyant also committed to an immediate review of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) for 2014-2020 to ensure that adequate resources are being appropriately directed towards achieving the Plan’s goals. The review will include a full and frank dialogue with all partners in the education sector including parents, teachers, school boards, and the Ministry of Education. The review will emphasize greater supports for literacy and English as an Additional Language (EAL) to ensure that students are ‘school-ready’ with a particular focus on the critical K-3 years.
Wyant supports implementation of a stronger civics component within the provincial curriculum, emphasizing the responsibility of citizenship and the need for community engagement amongst all Saskatchewan students. This includes affirming the value of and need for Treaty education within the curriculum, which is fundamental to the process of reconciliation.
In addition to these initiatives, Wyant’s education platform also includes a commitment to renewing a respectful and inclusive dialogue with Saskatchewan teachers to ensure the province’s 13,000 educators in the K-12 system have a voice in education policy. Wyant also remains in favour of local decision-making so that teachers, school boards and families continue to have input into student education, including freedom of school choice wherein private and religious options co-exist within a publicly funded school system.