Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen says it is time to make improvements to the province's school system. He took on the Education portfolio in August after two-and-a-half years in the Health portfolio where he made major changes. Goertzen says the first step in the K to 12 review will be to gather plenty of input."Education is also a system where there are people with lots of different opinions about change. Lots of people want to see the system changed but they don't all agree on how. We are going to start the K-12 review in early January of 2019. We'll have an extensive consultation period of at least six months and then at least the same amount of time to write the report before we bring it to the public. There is a desire for change in education but there is always apprehension every time you talk about change because people don't know what that change will be."

Goertzen says one area that needs a closer look is the need for better technology training for students.

"There are some good programs that we're seeing where they are bringing technology into the K-12 system, they're not just waiting for people to get to universities and colleges. Industry is a part of that. We see industries in Winnipeg saying: How can we get into the training side in the K-12 system earlier? It's not necessarily so people graduate into Standard Aero or that kind of a company but at least it familiarizes them and exposes them to know that those are possibilities."

Furthermore, he says the review will examine the expectations being placed on teachers.

"Teachers are being asked to do a lot more. We are asking teachers to deal with a lot of social challenges that aren't necessarily being dealt with at home. That's hard for them. It adds a lot to their day and I think we need to talk about that and what are our expectations of teachers because we're asking them to do a lot more than just teach the basic math, science and literacy that we might have asked 20 or 30 years ago."

Goertzen says while he wants to see the Manitoba education system made better, it will be important to keep a strong focus on the three R's.

"We need to be able to ensure that young people are getting those core competencies so that they are not just good citizens but they can actually do the work that is required when they get into post-secondary school. When I meet with colleges and universities, they're telling me that in the last 15 years, they have seen a dramatic shift where we are graduating students out of Grade 12, sending them on to universities and colleges, if they choose to go there, and they are simply not prepared. So we need to ensure that those three competencies are done first and not at the expense of other things that are being added on."

More Local News

Piwniuk Says PST Reduction Good News

The Province of Manitoba plans to lower the provincial sales tax and an MLA in southwestern Manitoba says that’s great news for his constituents. Doyle Piwmiuk says the change will happen on July 1st…

Clarifications To Provincial Acts Clear Up Grey Area For Fire Fighters

Four and a half years ago the chief of the Winkler Fire Department spearheaded lobby efforts to have changes made to two provincial acts that guide medical care in Manitoba, and those efforts have…

Water Watch on Medora Creek

Each spring, all eyes are on the waterways for rising levels, and overland flooding. Reeve for Deloraine-Winchester, Gord Weidenhammer, says they take precautionary steps to avoid as much overland…

Westman Pharmacist Being Recognized

Pharmacists Manitoba has announced the recipients for the 2019 awards and one of the winners is from Birtle. The Pharmacists Manitoba Blando Patient Choice Award goes to Ms. Kristin Lane a pharmacist…

Always Something to Learn with the AMM

It was a week of discussions and information gathering at the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) meetings this past week. Approximately 125 Mayors, Reeves and CAO's attended the Winnipeg…

Federal Budget Deficit An Investment Liberal Riding Rep Says

The spokesperson for the Portage-Lisgar Liberal Riding Association is defending the federal budget released on Tuesday. Ken Werbiski feels it's a good budget, despite running a roughly $20 billion… is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide