Nova Scotia schools getting first full review in 25 years
Public input will be part of panel's work
Nova Scotia is reviewing every aspect of its public school system, from the length of the school day to the idea of scrapping the summer break.
It’s a much wider examination than the Liberals originally promised.
"It is a broad review of what we deliver and how we deliver it in this province,” said Karen Casey, the education minister.
"There has not been a comprehensive review of education in 25 years and a lot has changed."
Casey said nothing is off the table.
Myra Freeman heading panel
The head of the panel is Myra Freeman, a former lieutenant governor. She and five other panellists will get public feedback. She said the results will depend on what they hear from the public.
“We could get 500 or 5,000 [responses], but I don't think we're afraid of that,” Freeman said.
The other panelists are:
- Tina Dixon, of Bear River
- Mike Henderson, of Brookfield
- Kyle Hill, of Toronto, formerly of Yarmouth
- Gordon MacInnis, of Glace Bay
- Donna O'Connell, of Pugwash
It will look at curriculum, technology and student performance, along with whatever else comes up.
Gin Yee, the chairman of the Halifax School Board, said he is happy the province is looking beyond the curriculum.
"If you change something in the curriculum, you have to change something in the system too. So I think it's necessary to do an end-to-end review,” he said.
Sheila Blair-Reid, a parent, said it was good news for students.
"I'm thrilled that they're doing it. I was very surprised to learn that it's been 25 years,” she said.
“It's very timely and we're ready for it here in Nova Scotia. There's an appetite to see change and to see improvement."
Blair-Reid said her daughter Carys and others in the system deserve better than they're getting now, which she said is just the basics.
The review will provide short-term and long-term suggestions. It will cost about $100,000.
Casey said changes could start in the 2014-15 school year.