STF Survey Shows Education a High Priority - Teachers Well Respected

April 4, 2018

Results Show a Growing Number of People Concerned About Funding Cuts

A new survey shows Saskatchewan people think education is extremely important to our quality of life in Saskatchewan.

The poll asked people to rate the importance to the quality of your life for a variety of public services on a scale of one to five, with one being the least important and five being the most important. Education received an average response of 4.44, second only to health care and ahead of justice and social services.

Two-thirds of those who responded gave education the highest rating possible when comparing which services play the largest role in determining our quality of life.

Teachers are highly respected and identified as being in the best position to make decisions in the education sector. Three-quarters of those polled rated teachers positively, including 29.3 percent who gave teachers the highest-possible rating. Teachers are rated highly for their commitment, understanding of material and for being respectful. Only 7.5 percent rated teachers negatively.

When it comes to decision making in the school system, those polled had the highest level of confidence in teachers, followed by school principals and vice-principals. They were followed by university professors, superintendents and directors of school divisions, Ministry of Education program developers, elected school board trustees and the Minister of Education in that order.

The survey found signs that people are beginning to notice the impact of funding cuts in education. Just under 40 percent do not believe the education system is well funded to meet student needs.

“I think these survey results send two clear messages to our political leaders,” said Patrick Maze, President of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.

“The first message is that teachers are highly trusted when it comes to making important decisions about the delivery of services to our children.

“The second message is that when you take $54 million out of the classrooms and create a situation where there are fewer teachers and fewer supports to look after more students, people will notice.

“I think our political leaders ignore these messages at their peril and should return to a time when teacher voices were heard as decisions are made about the future of education,” Maze said.

“The STF, which is the professional association representing 13,500 teachers from across the province, will listen to and learn from all voices in Saskatchewan as we work to map out a renewed vision for public education.”

The survey was conducted in February of 2018 by Praxis Analytics, a respected polling company based in our province. It is based on interviews conducted with 988 people in the province who were contacted by phone, email or through online panels.

The poll is considered to be accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percent with a 95 percent confidence level.

An executive summary of these survey results is available on the Federation website.