Developing a new Provincial Education Plan for 2020 to 2030 was one of many things paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s now back on the discussion list.
In the Prince Albert Catholic School Division, that means the board will start developing a feedback process so staff, students, and parents can give their input on the province’s draft plan.
Education director Lorel Trumier said it’s important to let families and teachers know they can still influence the plan before it’s put in place.
“The Ministry in 2018 had begun the process with many stakeholders in the province,” Trumier explained.
“There were several opportunities for feedback to the plan for 2020 to 2030 but then COVID hit and that delayed the process … and now that COVID has occurred, I think the world has shifted.”
The Provincial Education Plan's framework provides the basis for the province’s education plan. It was originally released for feedback in 2019 after the Education Summit held by former Education Minister Gord Wyant.
The Ministry is currently working under an Interim Education Plan that began in 2021-2022 and has been extended for another year.
The new long term plan will run from 2023 to 2030, instead of 2020 to 2030, which will affect what education goals the ministry sets.
“I think it's really important that we do take this moment in time to assess the plan,” Trumier said. “The start of the plan had been initiated prior to COVID, but now we may have a shift in our priorities or areas that we would want to focus on.”
One key aspect included as part of the interim education plan is mental health, and Trumier said that should be a large part of the final education plan that runs until 2030. She says students and staff mental health will have a larger impact on whether the ministry can hit certain education goals than it did a few years ago.
She hopes students, parents, and staff will take time to give their thoughts on the new education plan before it’s finalized. The Catholic School Division will make drafts available for review in the coming months.
“We will send it out to each parent in our community and I think that it's important that every parent has a voice,” Trumier said. “It will get forwarded to our Ministry and the different (groups) that will be used to establish a plan, so at least everyone will have an opportunity for that voice.”
The Provincial Education Council has provided areas of focus for the upcoming plan. The council is made up of educational partners who are not part of the education sector.
The new plan will work from a provincial level and then flow down to school division strategic plans and school level plans.
Operational structure membership includes directors of education from the province, First Nation and Metis education authorities, two members of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) and senior officials from the Ministry of Education.
The Interim Provincial Plan was released in August, 2021. The interim plan will be in place until the 10-year plan is completed.
The provincial-level plan was originally expected to be released in June 2021.
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald