For Immediate Release
2 May, 2023
Lela Evans, NDP MHA for Torngat Mountains, says harmful decisions made in isolation have eroded student’s access to a quality education in her district. These decisions are not only impacting their quality of life during their high school years but it is seriously impacting their academic prospects. Evans is calling upon the Minister of Education to prioritize in-classroom learning in her district.
“The Minister has to ensure that in-class instruction is available for core academic courses in Northern Labrador. These courses are the minimum requirements to be accepted into post secondary education. Supports for this need to be put in place for the start of the 2023-24 school year,” said Evans.
Students in the District of Torngat Mountains have been struggling to access adequate education due to a lack of both planning and comprehension of the realities in northern Labrador. In 2021, students were shocked to learn all their on-line courses had been moved to the Newfoundland time zone slots, causing them to lose 30 minutes of lecture time for their in-class courses.
In September 2022, high school students in Nain were told that all their core academic courses were moved on-line; high school teachers were shuffled to fill vacancies at the junior high school. Evans says this was a harmful solution of convenience for the school board. Chronically slow internet service resulted in all the high school students huddling around a single computer trying to access their on-line courses. Some improvements were made after parents protested. Evans says education is a right, and students in her district deserve access to quality education the same as the rest of the province.
“Year after year we see these harmful decisions play out in Northern Labrador schools,” said Evans. “Our students were collateral damage in a poorly planned solution that made staffing more convenient for the School Board.”
“Chronic social and economic marginalization continue to impact our students,” Evans said. “I fear the deteriorated education is robbing them of the futures they could achieve if given equal opportunity.
“It is clear from his comments to media that the minister does not understand the true realities faced by students and teachers in Labrador,” said Evans. “The decision to move to one English Language School Board took away any voice communities like mine had at the table when decisions are being made. Labrador students continue to be an afterthought for this government. This cannot continue.
“The minister must recognize the harms that these decisions have done to students in my district, and fix these issues so they can start the next year with the supports they deserve.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com