Border Land Teachers’ Association Submission to the Manitoba Commission on Education

May 30, 2019

To the Attention of the Manitoba Education Review,

We are writing to you on behalf of the teachers of the Border Land Teachers Association. Our Teachers’ Association would like to share our local perspectives and ideas for your consideration. We would also like to share our concerns regarding the potential impact the Education Review may have on the most vulnerable people in this process, our students.

The teachers of Border Land School Division welcome this education review, if it is conducted in good faith and with the needs of our students in mind. Our objections to the Review enter the discussion only if it is apparent that there is a set of predetermined recommendations that precede the Review process.

We the teachers of Border Land would like to highlight our recommendations for consideration, as we feel that these recommendations could detrimentally impact the learners not only in our community but in the Province of Manitoba. Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Border Land teachers stand by the importance of a long-term vision for education in Manitoba. This vision must include the following: continued equitable funding for all schools, building skills for the 21st Century (including current best practice and updated and flexible curriculums). The long-term vision must also include a poverty reduction strategy, and opportunities for inclusive education.
  • Further we recommend, that all actions of the Commission must ensure that public education is sustainable and provides rich learning environments and experiences for all students. This must include opportunities for students to be able to participate in learning, extra-curricular activities, and collaborating with other students, other teachers outside their communities, and around the province.
  • We would also like to stress the importance of local voice in decision making. The Border Land Teachers’ Association values the work it has done with Border Land School Division and its school board Trustees. We believe that we can all work together for the betterment of our Students and Teachers.
  • In addition, we recommend that this process must always keep in mind the human rights for students and educators. We must remember our most marginalized students — Indigenous students, children in care, LGBTTQIA+, and children living in poverty.
  • Finally, educational leaders need to have flexibility to make decisions that are pertinent to their schools. Our schools and our students are much more diverse and more complex than ever before. School leaders need to be able to quickly make decisions and to have the necessary resources available to them in order to do so.

Our schools are being asked to do more with less and the infrastructures must be in place to meet these needs. We need to make sure that teachers have the opportunities and the necessary resources to meet the abundance of needs head on.

The Border Land Teachers’ Association is prepared to meet with the Commission and share our ideas and expertise.

Submitted on behalf of Border Land Teachers’ Association:

Ms. Mary Chalmers

President: Border Land Teachers’ Association