Public input sought on rural education challenges, rewards

OK, Osoyoos, here’s another chance to provide some input on the value of public education in our community.

The Province is seeking public input on rural education to better understand the needs of students, parents, schools and communities in rural B.C.

Thew information collected will be considered as part of a strategy being created by Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Education Linda Larson β€” who is also MLA for the Boundary-Similkameen.

“Families living in rural communities have different needs than those living in high-density areas,” explained Ms. Larson.

“Over the next several months, I will be traveling to each region within the province, listening to families and educators and working on a new strategy for rural education that will help find long-term solutions for the unique challenges rural communities and schools face every day.”

Until Jan. 9, 2017, you can join in the online discussion to share stories on rural education and thoughts around community development at: engage.gov.bc.ca/ruraleducation

A draft discussion paper will then be developed and posted online for further public comment, followed by several regional meetings that will be hosted by Ms. Larson.

Stakeholder groups may also submit formal submissions to government, which will be posted online.

All feedback received will help government shape a final report on an integrated rural education strategy, including recommendations for the future. The strategy will aim to find long-term solutions for the unique challenges facing rural school districts and communities, including looking at the important social, cultural and economic roles that schools play in small communities.

In British Columbia, approximately 32% of the students in the K-12 education system attend schools located outside of the greater Victoria, Lower Mainland and Kelowna areas – many in very small communities that use school facilities as a hub for community activities.

Have your say . . .