REGINA – It’s not every student who gets a direct audience with the Minister of Education, but sixth grader Bailey Balaberda didn’t waste the opportunity.
“It was pretty cool to meet him and it sort of felt like I had a bit of power to say what I wanted to,” the Douglas Park School student said.
Balaberda wasn’t shy about letting Minister Morgan know she doesn’t like, “having 52 kids in my class because we have two classes split into one.”
“It’s really loud sometimes and hard to work and so many kids in the class,” she told the minister.
Ministry leadership and school directors are putting together the “Education System Plan” – it’s the first time school divisions have come together for a four day planning session in this particular way and it’s the first time students have been asked to provide such direct feedback to the ministry.
“What we’ve done today is we’ve started a process where we’re listening to students, and we’ll move onto parents and educators and we want to spend a lot of time with teachers,” explained Minister Morgan.
Twelve sixth grade students from across the province from the class of 2020 were chosen to participate. They had a lot of feedback, but the session itself was only 40 minutes. Still, directors said they found the session beneficial.
“(It was) just a noon hour event, but I think it was purposeful,” said Ben Grebinski, director of education at the Prairie Valley School Division. “I think bringing students in and asking some basic questions – certainly they were not shy about their responses as we heard, and I think it’s always valuable when you have student input.”
Students left Tuesday afternoon, but the planning session will wrap up on Thursday.