Question Period, 27 November 2015
Full transcript available here.

Long bus trips and young children

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

A question to the hon. Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture: Does the minister feel that lengthy bus trips to start and end the day of four- and five-year-old Island children is conducive to optimal learning conditions?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

Mr. Perry: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We know we do have some transportation problems and some challenges within the system and we’re working hard to address those issues.

Thank you.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, first supplementary.

Move to rural schools

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In trying to achieve one of this government’s stated goals, which was to reinvigorate rural Prince Edward Island and to attract young families to move or perhaps to stay in small PEI communities, it strikes me that a school is a vital component of a vibrant and attractive rural community.

While the trend in PEI has been – well, and everywhere, actually – towards centralization and bigger schools, modern communications could allow us to return to smaller schools and recapture the benefits of that more intimate learning environment, not to mention shortened bus trips.

Now that the rezoning process will be controlled by the department of education, will the government commit to studying a possible move back to smaller rural schools?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

Mr. Perry: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

You know, schools can’t do it alone. Everyone has a role to play in this. Communities have a role to play in it, parents, any stakeholder within the education system. We all have a role in playing to shape the future of our education system on Prince Edward Island. That’s why I’m very happy to say that moving forward we’re going to do it in a very collaborative way, that we have people from communities represented, parents from all ends of the Island, from tip to tip, that will be representing their schools, and each and every school will be represented equally and each school will have a voice in shaping the direction that education takes on Prince Edward Island, which is focused on the learners.

Thank you.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, second supplementary.

Government caucus in classroom

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The minister has often stated in this House that learning is something that starts at birth and continues throughout our lives. In an effort to educate all members of this House, would the minister encourage all of the members of his caucus to join me in committing to spending one full day in an Island classroom in order that we can see firsthand what the life of an Island teacher is really like?

Some Hon. Members: We’ve done that, (Indistinct).

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Would you do it again?

An Hon. Member: Yes, good idea.

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

Mr. Perry: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

That’s a very good suggestion. I can’t commit on behalf of everyone else without speaking to them first, but I will commit myself to that. It’s a great idea, thank you.

Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

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