May 20, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Adding a student representative to the District Education Councils (DEC) is part of a series of initiatives being proposed to overhaul how youth are engaged in government decisions that affect them. The proposal was introduced today in the legislature by Education Minister Kelly Lamrock as a change to the Education Act.
Other initiatives include replacing the New Brunswick Advisory Council on Youth (NBACY) with a more modern approach to youth engagement, and using new technologies and social media to reach greater numbers of young New Brunswickers.
"I think that when the council was created in 1986, it was viewed as an excellent avenue for youth voices to be heard," said Lamrock. "However, times have changed significantly since then. Technology and social media have opened up a whole new way to engage youth that did not exist even 10 years ago."
A process for selecting student DEC members is currently being developed. Students will be voting members of the DEC and will participate in regular DEC business to bring the student perspective to the decision-making process.
Lamrock will also expand on his annual meetings with students to include meetings between students and cabinet ministers responsible for youth issues. In addition, an online youth forum will be established to which young New Brunswickers may post submissions, respond to government proposals and initiatives, and engage in interactive discussions with other youth and elected officials.
"As a province preparing its youth to be the leaders of tomorrow, we need to engage them in ways to which they respond," said Lamrock. "I am excited about the new approach we are developing."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Hillary Casey or Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-444-4714.