A New Focus on Education and
Perhaps the most compelling message
that came out of government’s public consultations for the Jobs and Growth
Strategy last year is that education is a cornerstone for our province’s
social and economic development. Our unwavering commitment to continued
investment in our education system allowing for a more intensive focus in
K-12, literacy and early childhood education, is a clear indication that we
have taken this message seriously.
Hon. Judy M. Foote, Minister
An educated population is critical to the development
of our province’s economic and social well being. The creation of the new
Department of Youth Services and Post-secondary Education underscores
government’s commitment to investing in our young people and our
post-secondary system and helping to create new opportunities for the people
of our province.
Hon. Sandra C. Kelly, Minister
Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education
For further information:
Department of Education – 729-0048
Department of Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education – 729-6573
Government has created:
- a new Department of Youth Services and
Post-Secondary Education with a greater emphasis on programs and
services for youth and higher education; and
- a realigned Department of Education with a
more intense focus on K-12, literacy, libraries and early childhood
This is important because:
- these new departments will ensure
appropriate programs and services are in place to provide learning
opportunities for all citizens;
- there is no greater investment we can make
than in our youth;
- a well educated population is essential to
economic prosperity and social well-being; and
- investment in education and skills
training yields large pay-offs, not only for individuals but for whole
The people of Newfoundland and Labrador
have told us to focus on:
- building a high quality education system
- educational achievement
- early childhood education
- opportunities for students in rural
- the transition from school to work
- student debt
are Proud of our Investment in K-12 Education
Our province has seen significant
improvements in K-12 education, including the ratio of teachers to students,
graduation rates, teacher qualifications, per-student expenditures and
education attainment levels.
Over the last 12 years the pupil-teacher ratio has improved significantly.
In 1989, we had one teacher for every 15.6 students. In September 2001, we
will have one teacher for every 13.3 students. Our investment in teaching
resources is the best of any province in Canada.
Our expenditure per student continues to
grow. Between 1997/98 and 2001/02, school enrolment will have declined by
14,500 students, or 14.8%. Yet, over the same period, our expenditure per
student (excluding capital) will have grown from $5,557 to $6,434, an
increase of 15.8%.
are Working to Bring you New and Improved School
Since 1998/99, $160 million has been invested
in new school construction and renovations – the largest investment in
education since Confederation. Eight new state-of-the-art schools have been
constructed and construction is underway or about to commence for 10
Major extensions or renovations costing $33
million have been completed on 27 other schools. Air quality testing on 225
schools led to approximately $10 million being spent for air quality
improvements in over 200 schools.
School boards also have utilized savings from
school closures for capital projects. Rather than have the savings revert to
government, school boards have been able to keep them for a period of three
years for reinvestment in our schools. In total, $23.4 million has been
reinvested in schools as a result of this initiative.
are Building on a Foundation of Learning
Post-secondary education participation is at
an all time high. Over 80% of high school graduates are enrolling in
Over the past 20 years high school completion
rates for young adults have risen from 58% to 85% and post-secondary
completion rates have risen from 27% to 58%.
- Tuition has remained frozen at 1998-99
levels at all public institutions. University tuition fees in this
province are the lowest in Atlantic Canada. College fees are the second
- Tuition at Memorial University will be cut
by 10% in September 2001. College of the North Atlantic tuition will
continue to be frozen.
- Government spends $6.1 million annually to
reduce the provincial student loan for high-need students who complete
longer programs in a timely manner. A Student Aid Review Advisory
Committee will present recommendations on further debt reduction
measures this year.
Renewed Focus on Youth and Post-Secondary Education
Investing in our Future:
- In spite of reduced federal transfers for
post-secondary education, provincial government funding for public
post-secondary institutions has increased by 21.3% since 1997-98.
- Through our $29 million commitment to the
Opportunity Fund, Government is helping fund new scholarships and build
new state-of-the-art facilities at Memorial University.
- The new Department of Youth Services and
Post-Secondary Education will:
- establish a Youth Advisory Committee as a
forum for youth to communicate with government;
- develop a Youth Apprenticeship Program to
create better linkages between youth and the labour force;
- take the lead on the federal/provincial
labour Market Development Agreement which will provide $127 million in
2001-02 for training and other employment initiatives.
- $773 million total funding (current and
capital) in the two departments of Education, and Youth Services and
Post-Secondary Education. Highlights include:
K-12 Education and Literacy:
- $11 million to retain 218 teaching positions
in schools – this despite a projected enrolment decline of over 3,500
- $3.5 million for school boards to cover prior
year’s utility costs.
- $5.6 million reinvested in school board
- $5 million for the continued implementation of
the recommendations of the Ministerial Panel Report on Educational Delivery
in the Classroom.
- $1 million to the Provincial Information and
Library Resource Board for new library books.
- $500,000 for implementation of the Strategic
- $23 million additional funding for new school
construction bringing the total to $160 million.
Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education:
- $3.3 million to achieve a 10% reduction in
tuition fees for students at Memorial University beginning September 2001.
- $4 million for a new Student Investment and
Opportunity Corporation to coordinate new and existing youth employment
programs - a total investment of $8.8 million for 2001-02.
- $8.1 million has been allocated to be spent on
renovations and equipment at the College of the North Atlantic
- A further $3 million installment to the MUN
- $500,000 for Memorial University and College
of the North Atlantic to lever additional federal research funding.