Canadian Education News

American Secretary of Education nomination a concern for Canada
According to The Tyee, the recent nomination of Betsy DeVos as the secretary of education for President Donald J. Trump’s Republican Administration could be a concern for Canadian education, and citizens.

DeVos has “spent years wielding her inherited wealth to aggressively support the replacement of public schools with charter (private) schools, paid for by tax-funded vouchers.” The author of the article, Crawford Kilian, claims DeVos is “utterly unqualified for the job,” and that her appointment became possible because United States educators have failed to explain the purpose of public education.

Killian suggests that, since Canada is no different, our own system of public education is vulnerable as well.

Koostachin makes it to Canada’s top 150 Canadians
Based on her exemplary work and advocacy for equality in First Nations schools on reserves, CBC Sudbury has reported that Shannen Koostachin has been placed among the top 150 Canadians. Shannen was a young activist from Attawapiskat First Nation who spoke openly about deplorable conditions for aboriginal students in terms of the schooling, and the schools themselves, on First Nation reserves. She died in a car accident in June of 2010, at the age of 15.

The Attawapiskat First Nation, in Ontario, was Shannen’s experience. She brought the experiences to Parliament Hill in 2009 with the demand for the federal government of Canada to “provide better, safer schools for students living on reserves.” Her dream is now “known as Shannen’s Dream.”

PHE Canada and The Co-operators aim to improve mental health literacy and wellbeing in schools
“Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) and The Co-operators are proud to announce a new partnership that will support mental health literacy and improve well-being in school communities across Canada.”

There is the online portal and “community of practice” called Teach Resiliency, a PHE Canada initiative, which is to offer tools to enhance student and teacher mental health. According to research, approximately 20% of Canadian students suffer from mental illness, and that”Twice as many Ontario teachers feel stressed all the time,” in comparison to the general workforce.

Teach Resiliency will launch in May, 2017. Brian Storey, President and CEO of PHE Canada, said, “We are thrilled to partner with The Co-operators whose support will allow for the continued evolution of the program and impact in school communities across the country.”

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is an AUSU Councillor. He works with various organizations, and runs In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, and In-Sight Publishing.