Too many children in our province are not receiving fair opportunities to build a meaningful life in this province. Education can be the great equalizer, but only if the system is comprehensive and addresses systemic and structural issues related to inequality in our society. For too many kids in the school system, the status-quo is failing to provide them with the skills and support they need to succeed in our province.
We need to tackle the inequality that in our province means that 33,000 children under 18 live in poverty in Saskatchewan. We can't turn a blind eye to inequality that means the Grade 12 graduation rate of Aboriginal students is drastically lower than non Aboriginal students: 38 percent of on-reserve Aboriginal children graduate from Grade 12 compared to 66 percent of Aboriginal children off-reserve in contrast to 90 percent of non-Aboriginals.
We need to support Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students who continue to experience bullying. To let them know that they are welcome and safe in our school no matter what their past experience of society may be. We need to support parents who need better access to child-care so they can work or get an education, and better support when they choose to stay home to care for young children.
A plan for making sure every child matters looks like:
Partnering with First Nations to improve First Nations Education;
Improving the pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum to make it more culturally sensitive, and including inter-cultural and Treaty education in that curriculum;
Committing to end child poverty by 2030;
Investing more targeted resources in schools to help vulnerable children and restoring funding for educational assistants;
Substantially increasing the Active Families Benefit for families who enroll in physical, cultural or recreational activities;
- Creating a long-term plan to deliver high quality, accessible, affordable childcare and creating a benefit for parents who stay home to care for their children less than five years of age.