Students and Public Weigh In On Future Of Saskatchewan Education
Nearly 9,000 students, parents and community members had their say in a recent online survey about what students in the province need to be successful in school.
Students who responded to the survey identified the most important things to help them learn are quality teachers and staff and a comfortable, quiet learning environment. Students also said it is important to have a variety of program and elective options so they can work toward future goals and to study things they are interested in.
In addition to the students, non-students provided survey responses saying that quality teachers, issues at home and access to supports, including educational assistants, are the top three things needed to support students’ well-being and learning.
While quality of teaching was noted as extremely important by student respondents, some noted that quality of instruction can also be a challenge. Classroom environment and student behaviour were also noted by some as being a barrier to learning. The survey results from non-students identified that updated curriculum and classroom supports are important.
“Thank you to the thousands of people that we heard from, and in particular the students who took the time to tell us what they need,” Deputy Premier and Minister of Education Gordon Wyant said. “Student voice is key as we begin to plan for the future success of all Saskatchewan students now and into the future.”
Many students who responded to the survey also said they believe hands on learning and interactive activities help them to learn at school. Non-student respondents also say that inclusion, diversity and acceptance are some of what is working well in our schools.
The online survey is one of several feedback mechanisms which will help form priorities for education for the next decade. The results of the survey together with the feedback from engagement sessions that were held by education partners and school boards around the province will be used to build a framework outlining the key areas of focus in education over the next 10 years.
The framework is being co-constructed by the Ministry of Education together with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations; League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents of Saskatchewan; Métis Nation-Saskatchewan/Gabriel Dumont Institute; Office of the Treaty Commissioner; Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials and Saskatchewan School Boards Association.
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation participated as a partner during the initial framework plan meetings in the fall of 2018. More than 1,400 teachers filled out the survey and many also attended engagement sessions, however the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation did not participate as a planning partner in 2019. The ministry is hopeful they will re-engage as a planning team member this fall.
The framework, which will be used to develop a new education plan, will be presented to the Minister of Education later this fall.
The online survey was open from April 8 to May 10, 2019. Demographic information on the students and non-students who weighed in on the survey are available here: https://pubsaskdev.blob.core.windows.net/pubsask-prod/111597/FINAL%252B-%252BStudent%252Band%252Bnon-student%252Bdemographics%252B-%252BUpdated%252Bgraph.pdf.