October 30, 2014 6:38 am
Updated: October 30, 2014 7:54 am

Long awaited education report to be released

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HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s education minister will present the findings of a province-wide education review at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Education Minister Karen Casey said students and teachers should expect big changes.

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“I don’t think we can tinker any longer, I think we’ve been tinkering with the public education system for a long time, and that means adding a new curriculum here, adding something to this grade level. I think it needs to be more than that and its my hope that we’ll come up with an action plan that is more than that.”

The review panel was led by former lieutenant governor and teacher Myra Freeman, is expected to include short- and long-term changes to the education system, some of which could be introduced later this year.

It is the first time in 25 years that Nova Scotia has conducted such a review.

Originally pitched as a review on the province’s curriculum, the report was expanded to a system-wide look at the education system. It will address all aspects of education in Nova Scotia from how the school day is set up, to the length of the school year to what is actually taught in class.

Casey said the government has previously identified math and literacy as priorities but she wants to see whether Nova Scotians agree.

Premier Stephen McNeil said the report won’t automatically lead to more increases in spending. “I don’t believe that all the changes that are required are necessarily going to cost more money,” said McNeil.

Casey said while some new programs could be introduced, others could be cut if it’s decided they are no longer priorities for the province.

In email statements to Global News the Progressive Conservatives and NDP both outlined what they are looking for in the report.

“If the history of this Liberal government is a predictor of the future, this review will likely lead to another process and not a decisive report. We are looking for action from this government,” said Progressive Conservatives’ Director of Communications Jennifer Wedge. She said the conservatives are looking for cuts to a “bloated administration” and more investment in early childhood development.

For its part the NDP said it wants “to make sure (the Liberals) keep their election commitments in regards to class size caps and that they address the shortfall of childcare spaces the province is currently facing.”

Casey will table the report in the legislature Thursday, and stakeholders will then give their response to the report.

– With files from The Canadian Press

© 2014 Shaw Media

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