Government bungling its promise

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It has been two months since the government trumpeted its move towards providing full-day kindergarten for students entering the education system for the first time in 2016.

The promise made in this year’s budget stood out as a progressive step in the right direction for students, educators and their families. The Liberal Opposition caucus has been lobbying the government on this issue for some time, as full-day kindergarten has many proven benefits for children who have access to it. But thanks to this government’s indecisiveness, we now see that this promise may have been made with their fingers crossed behind their back.

Due to lack of class space in Mount Pearl, Paradise and other communities, an option now being proposed by the minister of education is team-teaching kindergarten students. This means that children as young as four and five will spend their first year of formal schooling in a classroom with double or even triple the number of students.

There are only two possible conclusions to draw from this: either the government has committed to a program that it didn’t plan for effectively, or it promised a program it has no intention in actually delivering.

Full-day kindergarten better prepares children for future schooling, assists with their socialization skills and makes it easier for them to participate in extracurricular activities. However, the benefits of this program are only realized if class sizes remain small enough for them to get the attention and support they need. It cannot be delivered without the proper space and staff resources.

Delivering an effective and successful full-day kindergarten program may be an overwhelming task for this government. As we have already seen, it neglected to ensure proper planning given the current overcrowding in urban area schools.

A shortsighted solution to enhanced education is really no solution at all, especially if it means our children will suffer as a result.

 

Dale Kirby, MHA, St. John’s North

Opposition education critic

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Laughable
    May 24, 2014 - 06:49

    Dale, Sorry but I don't have any respect for a person like you, I hope the people of St John's North give you the boot.

    • Morris
      May 24, 2014 - 14:57

      Laughable!! Another fine example of not discussing the issue, and being personal.! You contribute nothing to the issue at hand!

  • Harvey
    May 23, 2014 - 15:04

    Dale, you bungled the NDParty,too. Stop being an idiot. The lib. Party will rue the day it accepted you and others with being voted in.

    • Morris
      May 24, 2014 - 14:51

      Harvey- your comment should not be allowed. But then again when you are incapable of discussing the issue, you have no option but to resort to name calling!

  • W bagg
    May 23, 2014 - 09:35

    It was a solution to plummeting polling numbers.