Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill
Tuesday, May 02, 2000
In terms of the fact that this is going to cost us a little above $5 million per year, I am asking, where is the priority now? How will I feel as a principal in my school of 1,200, 500 or 100, having been begging for some of these things for so long and now we are going to put these school boards of nine people there and they can have these secretarial services, the photocopying machines, the computers and all of that? If I had a priority and I had this money, certainly I would start to ensure that those who are there have got what they need to do the job.
I would really like to ask the hon. Minister, through you, Mr. President, why have we not considered that? Clearly, they need the clerical services in the school, that is a sure thing. Before we launch out to give the boards all the things that they need, from conference rooms right back, take care of our schools. Take care of the clerical needs. I know the associations have been asking for that for quite some time.
At the same time, when I looked at it, there is a little stipend, travelling for the members of the board. I am asking myself, so we have a little money and we are talking about management of the schools, somewhere along the line the school supervisors are now falling out. We have to look at that, because we have school supervisors for educational districts understaffed, we need a lot more of those. Probably, that is why part of this management is in that state. We need a lot more school supervisors and, therefore, we need to do that even before we reach the boards. We need to get those school supervisors in place, because they are part of the management system.
In addition to that, just as we remember travelling for the members of the board, school supervisors—and I am quite sure that the hon. Minister would know this—some of them for many months have never received travelling. I am sure that you would have heard that mentioned by the association. They have not received travelling allowances for a long time. That is what I am talking about in terms of the priorities. How could we not settle these things to ensure that that level is well taken care of?
What else is needed for us to look at before we get here? What about that pool of relief teachers that we are asking for in the educational districts? Teachers going on holidays, teachers on sick leave and nobody to replace them for a long time; management breaking down. Therefore, I know there is a request for a pool of teachers in the district so that when these things happen somebody could be pulled into it. It is only in the education system that we have not been able to do that as yet, to have those relief teachers in a position to come on board when we need them. Probably we need to look at all that.