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Teachers’ union slams ‘implementation’ of all-day kindergarten

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Author: 
Shokoohi, Kimiya
Publication Date: 
6 Sep 2011

 

EXCERPTS

As Vancouver's public elementary schools open their doors this year for full-scale implementation of all-day kindergarten, the province's teachers' union argues the money for the program is not coming without a cost elsewhere in the system.

"What we find is that teachers have to subsidize the system so that we have the level of materials that you need to do all-day kindergarten," said Susan Lambert, president of the British Columbia Teachers Federation.

Lambert called the partial introduction of all-day kindergarten in 2010 as a "very very irresponsible implementation of a very very important program."

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The province is expected to spend an operational $365 million on all-day kindergarten over the next three years. The provincial government argues introduction of the program will improve education for B.C.'s students.

"If we are looking to continue to build education achievement in our province, probably the most important thing we can do as a government is to move to full-day kindergarten," said George Abbott, minister of education. "It assures that kids get a great start in terms of reading, writing and numerics. Its hugely important to do this. I don't believe there is an education professional that I'm aware of who would not agree that full day kindergarten is hugely important to building student success down the line."

The new kindergarten program arrives in the shadow of the BCTF's contract talks with the government. But little headway in bargaining has led to a majority decision by teachers to head into the school year with a work-only strike, meaning teachers will no longer carry out administrative tasks

With budget shortfalls and the teachers' strike in mind, some trustees on the Vancouver School Board question whether the induction of all-day kindergarten was the wisest choice for the province's schools.

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"This is something that has been in planning and implementation for at least five years. This isn't something we decided to do yesterday," Abbott said. "This has been a very important educational initiative-hugely important from a student achievement perspective.

- reprinted from The Vancouver Courier

 

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Entered Date: 
13 Sep 2011
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