NDP demands answers on school programs in limbo

The government must clarify which education programs are now suspended or may not return – and what that means for students and teachers.

Programs including the anti-bullying initiative and the task force for First Nations and Métis education, as well as countless other programs, are all on hold while the government figures out its priorities, according to a government official’s comments in the media.

“The solution to the problems this government has created in education is certainly not to put important programs and initiatives into limbo,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP education critic. “It’s not acceptable to shelve initiatives that students and families count on, like anti-bullying.”

The government revealed in the media Wednesday that school building and repair projects are also on hold. Thousands of students and teachers need relief from overcrowded schools where classes are being held in gyms and hallways, or schools that are crumbling and in need of repairs from foundation repair to asbestos removal.

Wotherspoon said that fixing the problems now plaguing the education sector should be a top priority for government.

“Students, families and teachers deserve a government that can manage multiple priorities in education at once,” said Wotherspoon. “The government needs to fix the problems it created in education, and maintain valuable things like anti-bullying efforts at the same time.”

Wotherspoon cited the government’s refusal to listen as one of the biggest causes of the new problems in education, and said the government should have consulted with educational partners including students, teachers and families before bulldozing ahead with plans like instituting a battery of outdated standardized tests.

Since Saturday, Wotherspoon has heard from a number of parents and teachers who are deeply concerned about the government’s plan to halt programs – and fearful the initiatives that matter to their kids won’t be reinstated.

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For more information, contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus