April 16, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The need for a shift in thinking about how students are taught, and the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century, were highlighted by Premier Shawn Graham and Education Minister Roland Haché as they visited two regional science fairs.
The fairs, organized in partnership with Science East, are being held today in Saint John and Fredericton for the anglophone sector, and tomorrow, Saturday, April 17, in Bathurst for the francophone sector.
"Education is about adapting to the changing world," said Haché. "The top 10 jobs today did not exist in 2004, and skills learned in school today could be obsolete in 10 years. It is critical that we begin to shift our anglophone and francophone education sectors to a learning model where students become creative, critical thinkers with the confidence to face a future that we can only imagine."
In addition, the provincial government made a commitment in When Kids Come First to provide teachers with modern technologies to improve teaching and training to students.
This commitment was reflected in the report by the Commission on Francophone Schools, which suggested that adequate technologies be provided to French-language schools to reinforce a sense of identity and community belonging among Acadian and francophone students.
For these reasons, the Department of Education is purchasing 8,000 laptop computers for each classroom teacher in the province. A new video produced by the anglophone sector has been posted on the department's anglophone website to generate discussion among educators about the importance of technology skills.
"The return on investment from this new way of thinking will be highly skilled and innovative graduates, who are able to build the local economy, pursue environmentally sustainable lifestyles, support high quality social programs and foster free and democratic societies," said Haché. "To ensure this shift takes place, we must also equip our teachers and classrooms with the technology they need."
Noreen Bonnell, president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association, said, "Teachers are committed to growing professionally to enhance the learning of our students. Technology will continue to be increasingly integrated into teaching, learning, knowing, creating and communicating in the 21st entury. This equipment will allow teachers to access and optimize their use of new resources and methodologies."
Monique Caissie, president of the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick, said, "we welcome this announcement. Computers are used everywhere today, including the school system, which is focused on training future generations on how to use computers. Information and communications technologies are increasingly used to support learning. We witness magic when students have access to software adapted to their needs. Computers have become indispensable tools for students and teachers."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Department of Education, 506-444-4919; Blake Robichaud, communications, New Brunswick Teachers' Association, 506-452-1833; Nicole Dupéré, communications, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick, 506-452-1749 or 506-470-0297.