Message from the Minister
and Accountability Statement

Photograph -- Honourable Shirley Bond.In 2001, our government set out a plan to work with educators, students and parents to ensure a high level of student achievement for every student in the province. Today, we have record-high completion rates and rank near the top in international assessments.

While our plan is working, student achievement has recently leveled off. We need to look for new ways to ensure our students graduate and to provide preschool children with the skills they need to succeed.

The Ministry of Education's 2007/08 – 2009/10 Service Plan will continue to build on our achievements by developing new measures to help us reach our goal of being the best-educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent. Over the next three years we will focus on reading, early learning, healthy schools and student achievement, with a particular emphasis on Aboriginal students.

Since 2001, the Province has invested over $92 million in programs and resources to improve literacy rates for the whole family. Programs like our StrongStart centres will continue to support early learning and help families ensure their children are well prepared to start school.

Through the healthy schools program, under ActNow BC, we are actively involving our students in learning and practicing skills for making healthy decisions. Our goal is to lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness, and that starts with our young people.

By 2015/16 we want our Aboriginal completion rate to be the same as the rest of the student population. We will continue to work with school districts and Aboriginal communities to implement Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements. More than half of B.C.'s 60 school districts have already signed such agreements. On July 5, 2006 a historic agreement was signed by the Province of British Columbia, the First Nations' Education Steering Committee and the Government of Canada. This agreement on First Nations' schools is the first of its kind in Canada and is a major step toward our goal of creating better learning opportunities for First Nations' students.

The Ministry is also continuing its work with our partner organizations. In addition to continued meetings of the Learning Roundtable, we held the first annual Teachers' Congress and the first-ever Parent Congress, which allowed us to hear directly from teachers and parents.

We continue to look for better ways of delivering education and services. The new virtual school called LearnNow BC, the Rural Educators' network and the Shared Services website are just some of the new ways we are doing business differently as we transform education in the province.

The goals and performance measures established in our service plan will help us to improve our education system and bring greater opportunities for British Columbians.

The Ministry of Education's 2007/08 – 2009/10 Service Plan was prepared under my direction, in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of February 15, 2007 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.

Honourable Shirley Bond
Minister of Education and Deputy Premier
Minister Responsible for Early Learning and Literacy

February 15, 2007

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