Feedback sought on public education system

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To the editor,

As we approach the end of another academic year, I would like to invite, encourage, and challenge Nova Scotians to take a few minutes to share their thoughts and opinions on our province's public education system.

Karen Casey, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, has named a six-member panel chaired by former Lt.-Gov. Myra Freeman, to gather public input on this topic. As the Ivany Report has made clear, it is absolutely crucial to Nova Scotia's future.

The panel, of which I am a member, wants everyone - students, parents, educators, business people and community members - to help us bring change to the education system. We need to know what is working well, what can be improved on, or what should be done away with.

We have developed a survey, covering several broad areas and designed to elicit the public's unvarnished sentiments. The survey was launched in late April, and closes June 13.

Most of the survey questions are optional and Nova Scotians can indicate a degree of agreement with statements. There is ample opportunity to provide additional comments and share issues they are passionate about. We strongly encourage everyone to take advantage.

We have held various sessions across the province. In this area we have had discussion groups at South Colchester Academy, Cobequid Educational Centre and Amherst High, as well as with business leaders in Parrsboro and Pugwash. We are most thankful to the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce for providing a platform to introduce the survey to more than 200 attendees at its recent annual award dinner.

The survey can be found at novascotia.ca/review. In addition to the survey, the website includes other options to submit feedback including a discussion guide, email, mail, or telephone message via a toll-free number. Social media (Twitter and Facebook) may also be used to communicate with the panel.

We urge you to share your thoughts before June 13.

 Mike Henderson   

Brookfield

Organizations: Colchester Academy, Cobequid Educational Centre, Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Parrsboro, Pugwash

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