A stronger emphasis on math and literacy in the early grades is one of the initiatives parents and students will see next September from a new five-year education action plan.
Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey released the plan, 3 Rs: Renew, Refocus and Rebuild, Nova Scotia's Action Plan for Education, today, Jan. 29, to provide a better future for Nova Scotia's students.
The plan focuses on fundamental changes to improve and modernize the education system for the first time in a generation, create an innovative curriculum, promote inclusive school environments and advanced excellence in teaching and leadership.
"Nova Scotians' message has been received and understood and we are making changes now to ensure that all students are better prepared for life by providing a modern education system that reflects today's needs and opportunities," said Ms. Casey.
"The action plan will make sweeping changes to renew, refocus and rebuild a system that has not kept pace with changes in society, the labour market or technology. Each change is geared to increase student achievement and student success."
The streamlined curriculum will include more time for teaching both math and literacy in the early years, reduce the number of learning outcomes and identify essential ones, increase access to modern technology and include culturally diverse learning materials.
Other initiatives to be implemented between 2015 and 2020, include:
–- support Department of Health and Wellness screenings for preschoolers at 18 and 36 months
–- an improved Individual Program Plan process
-- new mandatory Grade 10 citizenship course
–- an audit of school boards by the auditor general to look at their current structure and review their efficiency and effectiveness of their operations
–- restructuring of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to align with the actions in the plan.
The action plan reflects the views from successful public consultations when more than 19,000 Nova Scotians had their say before the Minister's Panel on Education. It is also driven by data from student assessments that show a growing and disturbing trend.
The department will release an annual progress report on the action plan that will be available at ednet.ns.ca