Teachers, public urged to complete Re-Imagine Education online survey

Sask Bulletin
December 11, 2018

Colonsay school community council members discuss the future of education at a Re-Imagine Education community engagement event.

Since first introducing the notion of Re-Imagine Education at the Annual Meeting of Council in April, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive Director Randy Schmaltz has stressed the need for widespread input from teachers and the public alike.

As he outlined at the inaugural Re-Imagine Education Reference Committee Meeting, Schmaltz underlined the notion that the various organizations who offered their input will ultimately be part of what he envisions as an open-book conversation.

After that initial meeting held in September, the list of those organizations partnering with the Federation has grown to 17. A process has been developed to gather feedback on the future of education in such a way that it will incorporate the ideas garnered from the conversations and written submissions into a report.

The report will then be presented in what is anticipated to be a series of 10 to 12 actionable recommendations presented to the Government of Saskatchewan early next fall to advocate for the changes needed in addressing the future needs of public education in the province.

Teachers have duly stepped up to the plate in a big way in terms of participating in the process. More than 400 school staff liaisons have participated in an engagement opportunity, with several having then provided that same opportunity for teachers and community members connected to their schools.

At last count, more than 15 community events had been held with more scheduled throughout December. Naturally, it is impossible to reach all the 13,500 teachers in Saskatchewan, but there is an opportunity to participate via the online survey that is available by visiting reimagine.questionpro.ca. 

Similarly, Schmaltz reiterated that ideally the general public will also respond by completing the survey so that their voice is authenticated in the deliberations. Schmaltz indicated he is encouraged by the fact that more than 14,000 people have now visited the Re-Imagine Education website, www.reimagineeducation.ca, while another 3,400 people have viewed the online survey. He also reminded teachers of the option to provide an online written submission to reimagineeducation@stf.sk.ca

Schmaltz has cited Re-Imagine Education as a bold initiative that asks people to challenge their views of what education looks like today, and what it could look like in the future.

“This initiative will clarify the issues facing education today, while imagining what the future might look like and plan how to make the vision a reality.”

He indicated five broad themes that have been identified for discussion: the purpose of education, the educated person, school community relationships, education decision making and responsibility for education in Saskatchewan.

While having acknowledged that this is an ambitious project, Schmaltz insisted that it is achievable since there are teachers tucked away in every corner of the province.

“Together we can make a difference. It’s work that needs to be done, and we are up to it. This is about rekindling the conversation about public education–as educational partners and champions of public education. On behalf of our students, we have a responsibility,” he added.