September 5, 2013 4:16 pm
Updated: September 6, 2013 9:13 am

NDP says no clarity on education changes

Empty classroom

File / Global News

REGINA – The Opposition NDP says the Saskatchewan government needs to be clearer about which education programs are on hold.

“Very mixed messages coming from government,” said NDP education critic Trent Wotherspoon.

Wotherspoon says parents and teachers have told him they’re concerned about the government’s plan to halt programs.

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The comments come after a Ministry of Education official told a Regina newspaper that several programs and building projects are being paused so the government can get more feedback from teachers and students.

Wotherspoon says it’s not acceptable to shelve an anti-bullying initiative or the task force for First Nations and Metis education.

Education minister Russ Marchuk insists there is no delay on those fronts.

“Definitely not on pause,” said Marchuk. “We’re continuing to engage all of the partners with recommendations of the joint task force.”

What is being slowed down, according to Marchuk, are curriculum changes, with the exception of science.

The government now wants further review, which teachers say is good news.

“Educational changes should be well researched,” said Patrick Maze, president of the Regina Public School Teachers Association. “There should be evidence they’re going to be successful. It shouldn’t a guessing game.”

Marchuk insists the province is moving ahead with standardized testing for students from grades 4 to 12, but he admits the timing of the testing is under review.

With files from Mike McKinnon / Global News

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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