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Minister’s statement on Education Week

April 15, 2024 at 12:27 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care, has released the following statement in celebration of Education Week 2024:

“Today, we are joining with other provinces to mark the beginning of Education Week, which is from April 15-19 this year. This week is a special opportunity to celebrate and recognize the achievements of our students, and the exceptional work and dedication of support staff, teachers, school district staff, principals and vice-principals, superintendents and trustees in supporting high-quality education throughout B.C.

“Our government is working hard to support schools in ensuring all students receive the education they need to achieve academic excellence and to thrive in their communities, no matter what barriers they may be facing. We are committed to making quality, inclusive education available for every student in the province.

“To help schools provide support directly to students and their families, our government has added $20 million to the Student and Family Affordability Fund. This fund helps pay for school supplies, fees and trips, and extra costs associated with sports and music programs.

“To ensure students get the nutrition they need to support their health and learning, we have made the largest investment in school food programs in the province’s history. The Feeding Futures Fund enables schools throughout B.C. to create or expand school food programs so that students have access to healthy meals and snacks at school.

“As part of the larger efforts to keep students healthy and safe, we are also working to ensure all school districts have policies in place by the start of the next school year to be able to restrict students’ cellphone use at school. Research shows that frequent cellphone interruption in the classroom disrupts learning, and social media platforms and online predators present significant risks to student’s mental health and physical safety. As well, we are making more digital literacy training available to students and their families, so they will have the knowledge they need to stay safe online and develop healthy relationships with technology.

“Our government also recently introduced new legislation to help protect students and staff from disruptive behaviour, including aggressive protests on school grounds. This new law will create 20-metre protected zones around schools and prohibit behaviour that impedes access to school grounds, disrupts school activities, or causes concern for the physical and mental safety of students and staff.

“British Columbia is a terrific place to live and more people are moving here to raise their families. Our schools had historic enrolment growth in 2023, which is why our government is providing a record $3.75 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for new schools.

“We’re also providing $30 million over the next three years to better support children with dyslexia and related learning differences in the K-12 school system. It will support evidence-based early literacy screening for kindergarten to Grade 3 students, equip teachers and support staff with professional development, and provide additional intervention and outreach programs.

“All students, no matter where they live, deserve to have qualified teachers, and we have invested $12.5 million to boost the recruitment and retention of teachers in rural and northern districts, and to support the recruitment and retention of Indigenous teachers. We are also expanding dual-credit programs, so that more students can get a headstart on their post-secondary studies by taking courses that count toward both their high school graduation and a post-secondary credential.

“I would like to applaud the educators, school administrators, support staff and other partners for their dedication and commitment to upholding B.C.’s world-class education system. Their contributions and hard work are vital and what help our students flourish throughout their school years and into the future.

“Our government is committed to empowering educators and providing every student with the tools and opportunities they need to achieve their academic potential. By working together, we can build a better future for all students in British Columbia.” 

 

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