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For immediate release
September 4, 2009
Innovation and Advanced Learning
Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Gerard Greenan and Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell participated in meetings of the Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC) this week in Calgary.CMEC is composed of education ministers from the provinces and territories. Its goal is to initiate federal-provincial action on issues such as improving student success, Aboriginal education, literacy, post-secondary education and other issues.
Allan Campbell, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, represented PEI’s post-secondary interests at the conference. He said Canada has one of the best systems of post secondary education in the world.
“Maintaining this world-class standard is the key to a solid economy and strong communities, and to ensuring the well-being of all Canadians,” said Minister Campbell.
“PEI’s post-secondary institutions are key players in supporting our economic strategy by building our research capacity and maintaining our economic competitiveness through the development of a highly-skilled workforce. It is crucial for PEI and other jurisdictions to eliminate the post-secondary funding gap to protect the high quality of our educational institutions and ensure continued economic growth.”
“The 2008 CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education was the catalyst for the development of several effective partnerships that will benefit Aboriginal learners in our province,” said Education and Early Childhood Minister Gerard Greenan. “The provincial government is now supporting a Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI initiative to create an Education Forum. We are also working with our First Nations to integrate the Mi’kmaq language in First Nations students’ learning experience. At the national level, CMEC ministers are committed to build on our partnerships with Aboriginal leaders and develop a detailed action plan for provincial and territorial follow-up.”
Ministers also renewed their commitment to raising literacy levels in Canada and supporting the CMEC ’s Literacy Action Plan to raise awareness and engage stakeholders in new policy initiatives.
“The literacy action plan contains several initiatives that will complement the excellent work we are doing in literacy, such as access to effective assessment tools and a strategy to keep the improvement of literacy skills at the forefront of the minds of Canadians,” said Minister Greenan.
CMEC ministers have been working with their health counterparts on an H1N1 strategy to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff in education institutions across the country.
“Post-secondary institutions, schools, and early childhood centres have an important role to play in pandemic response,” said Minister Greenan. “We appreciate the excellent support we are now receiving from partners and staff to ensure that we are well prepared to deal with the virus.”
While in Calgary, the ministers also took part in events at WorldSkills Calgary 2009, an international skills and trades competition.
Both Ministers Greenan and Campbell acknowledged the role of PEI’s Manager of Apprenticeship Training, Sue LeFort, who was given the opportunity to act as shop master for the machinist trade in the skills competition.
“PEI can be very proud of the role Sue played in this international skills competition,” said Minister Campbell. “Sue brought a high level of commitment and professionalism to her role as shop master in this world-class competition.”
Ministers Greenan and Campbell also attended the World Skills Leaders Forum which promoted the importance of life-long learning, innovation and technology in today’s economy.
The provincial and territorial ministers ended the conference by stressing the importance of continuing discussions with the federal government to address key issues and to put education at the top of the national agenda.
Media Contact: Kim Devine
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