The provincial government has appointed 12 people to a new advisory council on Education, including several with local connections.
Among the local appointments is St. FX Education Professor Chris Gillham, who will serve for a one year term. Gilham has a research interest in inclusion and mental health literacy.
Another local resident that will sit on the council for a one year term is Pictou County psychologist Margaret (Joan) MacDonnell. MacDonnell has experience working with students, parents, teachers and administrators in the areas of gifted education, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and emotional/behavioural issues.
The province promised to create an advisory council to the education minister after it dissolved elected english language school boards earlier this year.
There are also three member organizations with designated seats on the council, including the French Language School Board, as well as representatives for Mi’kmaq and African-Nova Scotia Education
A concerned citizen and parent of the area thinks that the province’s move to dissolve school boards will mean more closures of rural schools. Moraig Macgillivray
says that the proposed changes from an educational consultant will make it harder for rural areas to have their opinions heard in Halifax when schools are placed on the chopping block.
Macgillivray says that two schools locally were almost closed last year, and the local school baord was instrumental in keeping them open. She isn’t sure if that would be the case in the future:
Macgillivray believes a public meeting in Antigonish next week will send a loud message to the Liberal government, and hopefully spark change for the better:
Macgillivray says a public meeting scheduled for February 20th will give locals a chance to have their questions answered by an educational commentator. The event takes place next Tuesday at 7:30 at the People’s Place Library.
A former educator and current education commentator thinks that a report recommending the dissolving of the province’s school boards needs to be seriously
rethought. Grant Frost will be in the Antigonish area next week to discuss the effects that Dr. Avis Glaze’s report will have on the students of the Strait Regional School Board.
When asked to grade the Glaze report, Frost says it has so many errors that it should not be taken seriously. He also thinks that many of the recommendations made to help student success will hurt the education system as a whole:
Frost will take part in a public meeting on February 20th to discuss the upcoming changes to the education system. The Antigonish MLA, along with the Education Minister both declined invites to the event.
A teacher with ties to Antigonish County and working in northern Quebec’s remote Salluit community in the Nunavik region has been named a top-10 finalist for the prestigious one-million-dollar Global Teacher Prize.
Maggie MacDonnell, who grew up in Bayfield, graduated from St. FX and was chosen from among 20-thousand nominations and applications from 179 countries.
The award will be handed out in Dubai on March 19th, and MacDonnell says if she wins she will establish a non-profit agency to run environmentally-focused programs for northern youth. MacDonnell says her community of Salluit has experienced hard time, after a number of youth suicides in the area. This year’s other finalists come from China, Jamaica, Kenya, Brazil, Germany, England, Spain, Australia and Pakistan.