Education has to be a top priority
May 21st, 2014 - 2:44pm
This week is an important week in the North with the opening of the new UCN campus in Thompson.
The new campus shows just how far we have come in terms of post secondary education in our region. Increasingly people have the option of continuing their education right here in the North.
As a former instructor with UCN in Thompson, Gillam and Fox Lake I have seen first-hand the importance of education to our Northern communities. I have also seen how critical it is to have a properly supported education system from kindergarten through to the post secondary level.
Despite some progress there is clearly much more to do. Far too many schools in First Nations are overcrowded or in poor condition. Per student funding is far lower in First Nations schools than the provincial average. Because of the funding cap many students aren't able to continue their post secondary education.
At the same time we have so much potential in our region. We have one of the youngest regions in the country. If we can provide the educational opportunities that people deserve we have almost unlimited potential.
The key is to make education a priority. Our provincial government has done this with UCN and its skills agenda. We need the Federal government to make a real, sustained commitment to education for Northern and Aboriginal people.