[August 30, 2022] Investments to Strengthen Student Learning, Well-Being: Ewasko
The Manitoba government is welcoming all students and school staff to a full return to in-person learning next week and is allocating an additional $6.5 million to supporting post-pandemic academic needs and well-being as students across the province return to school this fall, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko announced today.
“As Manitoba students and their teachers head back to school, our government is continuing to make significant investments to support their mental health and academic needs,” said Ewasko. “This year, schools will offer the full kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum and all the extracurricular activities that bring the school experience to life. Sports, recreation, tournaments, band and choir are just a few examples of what can be expected for the coming year.”
Of the funding announced today, $2 million is focused on strengthening student learning and supports including:
- approximately $1 million for the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre (MRLSC) to provide after-school learning supports for students in grades 1 to 8;
- $250,000 for the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey, which will collect data on the health and well-being, social environments and health behaviours of children and youth for students in grades 6 to 10;
- $150,000 to Kids Help Phone, 24/7 counselling and crisis supports;
- $390,000 for online resources and video-streaming services, including enhancements to support French, French immersion, and French/English program educators through Direction des ressources éducatives françaises (DREF); and
- $250,000 for research to assess and understand the effects of the pandemic on learning outcomes through a partnership with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy at the University of Manitoba.
“As we prepare for the new school year, the additional supports announced today are welcome news,” said Andrew Mead, principal, MRLSC. “This additional funding will help the MRLSC continue to provide conducive learning environments to our students and their families as they pursue their education online.”
The minister noted the $2 million announced today builds on a $20-million investment to strengthen student learning and supports announced in June, which included:
- $11 million on a per-pupil basis to give school divisions and schools the flexibility to direct funding as needed, and
- $9 million in targeted investments for students and schools most affected by the pandemic.
Building on last year’s $6.8-million provincial investment in school ventilation projects, the Manitoba government has allocated an additional $4.5 million in federal funding for more than 300 ventilation projects such as CO2 monitor installations and air filter upgrades.
The minister noted Manitoba remains committed to increasing funding for education with a four-year, $1.6-billion funding guarantee announced in 2020. This year, education funding has increased by $460 million, including the $22 million for strengthening student learning and supports, and:
- $51 million in operating funding, including an additional $7 million in funding for students with special needs;
- $77 million in one-time funding to assist with financial pressures;
- $308 million in capital investments to build new schools and renovate existing ones ensuring government is on track to build 20 new schools by 2027 and able to make considerable investments in maintenance, including ventilation projects; and,
- more than $2 million to expand the Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools initiative.
More work is underway to implement Manitoba’s K to 12 Education Action Plan, which builds upon the strengths of the kindergarten to Grade 12 education system and sets out the path to responding to the recommendations from the Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education. The action plan furthers the Manitoba government’s commitment to improving and addressing numeracy, literacy, Indigenous education and inclusion for Manitoba students.
Additionally, the implementation of Mamàhtawisiwin: The Wonder We Are Born With, an Indigenous education policy framework, supports the holistic achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners by helping Manitoba educators incorporate Indigenous languages, cultures, and identities into their teaching and assessment practices, and deepen their understanding and progress along a path of truth and reconciliation in their schools and communities.
For more information on the provincial government’s plan for the start of the new school year, visit: www.edu.gov.mb.ca/.
For more information on Manitoba’s K to 12 Education Action Plan and Mamàhtawisiwin: The Wonder We Are Born With, visit: https://edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/index.html.
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