Review will raise huge challenges

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The Liberal government has announced plans to embark on a thorough review of one of its most essential roles – ensuring that young Nova Scotians receive the best education possible.

With apologies for stating the obvious: no matter what this panel presents, the province will face challenges meeting improvements while staying on budget.

Education Minister Karen Casey on Wednesday announced the appointment of former lieutenant governor Myra Freeman to head the panel, tasked with a comprehensive look at details ranging from length of school days and year, to the curriculum and inclusion of technology in classrooms.

She will be joined by five others bringing a range of experience to the table – a healthy diversity that always helps in providing a fresh perspective.

While still on the campaign trail the Liberals pledged a need to better support education and to boost funding. Granted, that’s easier said than done in a province stretched to the limit and then some in budgeting for items.

Establishing a review panel, at a cost of about $100,000, and to deliver a report by October – such a scenario will set some hearts palpitating. Some might fear it’s a stall tactic, when needs within the education system have been hot topics for years, again, with affordability being the issue.

Recently the Chignecto Central Regional School Board discussed its goal of boosting technology education in the classroom. That subject appears to be on the panel’s list and we hope it gets the attention it deserves.

The public will also be able to weigh in – it’s expected the panel will use online surveys and in-person consultations to gather feedback.

The broad scope of this exercise does raise the concern that the panel could be doomed to spread itself a bit thin. The wide range is perhaps unavoidable, since it’s been 25 years since the province has done this kind of review. But no doubt the crucial issues and needs will rise to the fore from the beginning.

Organizations: Chignecto Central Regional School Board

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