The B.C. government is facing a backlash after announcing it would spend $4.5 million on a $6 million education program to promote better public education.
The government says the $4 million will be used to improve teachers’ teaching skills, improve literacy and numeracy standards and expand the use of computers and other technology to increase teacher effectiveness.
“This is a great start,” Premier Christy Clark said Monday at a news conference in Surrey.
“We need to take the next step in the evolution of our education system and we need to support and encourage the teachers in our schools.”
Clark, who has spent the past year making education the centrepiece of her government’s agenda, said the money will be invested in teaching teachers the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.
Education Minister Chris Ballard said the funds will help teachers better equip teachers with the tools and skills they will need to become effective leaders.
The announcement comes on the heels of a national study of the effectiveness of teaching in schools, which found teachers are better able to prepare students for college and career.
The report said teachers need to be more self-motivated, more effective in communicating their ideas and teaching students how to think critically.
“It’s not just about teaching,” Ballard said.
“Our teachers are going to need to make an impact in this new world.
They’re going to have to take on an entirely new role.”
The report was conducted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), a think-tank that advocates for more effective education, and concluded that teachers have a significant role to play in the education system.
“As an educated, skilled workforce, teachers are often at the forefront of the creation and delivery of the curriculum, teaching, and learning outcomes that support and enhance students’ quality of life,” the report says.
“These teachers must have the tools, knowledge, and skills to succeed on the job, as well as the confidence and support needed to lead in the classroom.”
The CPPA report also found that teachers are more likely to make more than one mistake in a class and that teachers make more errors on a per-student basis than their peers.
Clark has faced criticism for the spending.
The premier has said she will spend $20 million on teacher training, and is looking to add 600 more teaching positions.
She is also reviewing the education plan to make sure it includes a more efficient way to fund public schools.