Parents, teachers speak up on Manitoba’s education system

Parents and teachers had their say about Manitoba’s future in education as the series of public meetings neared the end.

Manitoba’s Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education staged its second last meeting Wednesday night, where feedback was collected on ways to improve the education’s system.

The commission was tasked in reviewing the province’s education system and a consultation paper was released as a guide for Manitoban’s to give their feedback to the commissioners.

Teaching, long-term vision, student learning, accountability for student learning, governance, and funding are six areas of focus in the paper.

“Everyone agrees we need a review in education, it hasn’t happened in a long time,” said Amy Webb, a grade 1 and 2 teacher at Margaret Park School.

However, Webb, among many others at the meeting, had questions about how the input will be used.

“Are we here to improve the lives of children? Or are we here to take things away from them? Are we here to get behind their agenda to making cuts to all spending in the province? I’m here to improve the lives of children,” she said.

Commission co-chair Clayton Manness said he understands the skepticism.

“There’s always a fear factor to some degree,” Manness said. “That’s why we’re all at these meetings; we’re trying to give definition to how it is we can make changes and or alterations to the system so there’s better student results and achievement.”

The final workshop is scheduled for May 25 at R.B Russell Vocational School.

The commission was asked to submit the report to the education minister by February 2020. The report is expected to be made public in March.