Sask. NDP accuses Dustin Duncan of disparaging public schooling

Duncan mentioned his feedback have been meant to indicate that college students in Saskatchewan, irrespective of the place they go, are getting schooling.

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Schooling Minister Dustin Duncan says he isn’t ragging on public and Catholic faculties after the NDP accused him of doing so for his remarks on pupil grades.

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Home Chief Nicole Sarauer grilled Duncan on Thursday throughout query interval within the Saskatchewan legislature, accusing him of dragging the publicly funded programs “by means of the mud,” after he instructed certified unbiased college college students have higher marks than children who attend Catholic or public faculties.

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Duncan had advised the chamber on Tuesday that 57 per cent of scholars in certified unbiased faculties scored greater than 80 per cent on their departmental exams during the last 12 months, whereas 54 per cent of scholars in Catholic or public faculties scored greater than 80 per cent.

Duncan pointed to the marks as proof college students in certified unbiased faculties are receiving a “good schooling.” He re-affirmed that the federal government helps dad and mom with the ability to ship their children to unbiased faculties.

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On Thursday, Duncan advised the meeting he wasn’t criticizing public schooling when he made his feedback.

He mentioned he was attempting to display that, no matter the place college students attend college, they’re “acting at or close to the identical mark.”

He mentioned 68 per cent of scholars in affiliate faculties, that are spiritual faculties which have an working settlement with public faculties, had a mark above 80 per cent for his or her departmental exams.

“College students, even in unbiased faculties … are studying the curriculum and might rating close to the place public college college students are with regards to departmentals,” he mentioned.

Sarauer advised the chamber certified unbiased faculties aren’t held to the identical requirements “and that their marks are inflated.”

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She mentioned public and Catholic faculties don’t get to select and select their college students.

“I hope this minister actually realizes he’s not the minister for certified unbiased faculties. He’s really the minister for all of schooling,” she mentioned.

Duncan has been below hearth over the previous two weeks over allegations of abuse at some certified unbiased faculties, together with Legacy Christian Academy, in addition to for a few of the materials that has been taught at these faculties.

Former college students of Legacy mentioned they’d realized from a biology textbook that acknowledged folks and dinosaurs co-existed. It citied the Loch Ness Monster, which is a legendary creature, as proof dinosaurs exist immediately.

Stefanie Hutchinson, Caitlin Erickson and Coy Nolin, former students of Legacy Christian Academy, speak to the media after raising concerns about allegations of abuse at the school and what they call unacceptable learning material.
Stefanie Hutchinson, Caitlin Erickson and Coy Nolin, former college students of Legacy Christian Academy, communicate to the media after elevating considerations about allegations of abuse on the college and what they name unacceptable studying materials. Photograph by Jeremy Simes /jpg

Whereas Duncan says it’s doable the unbiased faculties weren’t totally following the curriculum previous to 2012, he mentioned the textbook is not closely used as a useful resource for certified unbiased faculties.

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He advised reporters on Tuesday there are a few chapters within the guide that aren’t thought of problematic, together with ones that cope with genetics, photosynthesis and evolution.

He mentioned the ministry labored with certified unbiased faculties in 2013 to make sure they have been following the curriculum.

Caitlin Erickson, who has filed a lawsuit with regard to alleged abuse at Legacy, has mentioned controversial teachings proceed to persist, noting lots of the assets are listed on the Saskatchewan Affiliation of Impartial Church Colleges (SAICS) web site.

Duncan mentioned he must have a look at the web site once more, however added the ministry has reviewed the workbooks being taught by faculties that comply with SAICS.

“For probably the most half, apart from the faith-based components, I feel the ministry is snug that the data that’s within the workbooks and the data that’s a part of the curriculum may doubtless be utilized in any college within the province,” he mentioned.

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He mentioned the Accelerated Christian Schooling workbooks that have been used previous to 2012 have been deemed unacceptable. The ministry labored with faculties to rewrite their workbooks to align them with the curriculum, he mentioned.

He famous the federal government doesn’t have a lot management over what’s being taught in registered unbiased faculties, which don’t obtain authorities funding. He mentioned they don’t obtain the identical stage of oversight.

Nonetheless, Sarauer accused Duncan of not being harsh on the teachings.

“The Minister of Schooling refuses to confess the Loch Ness just isn’t actual,” she quipped.

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