It is my pleasure to present the Ministry of Education's 2003/04 Annual Service Plan Report.
This annual report details the ministry's accomplishments in B.C.'s education system and the New Era commitments met during the third year of this government's mandate.
Our government is committed to creating an education system where every student has a chance to achieve their best, where parents are involved in their child's education, where students and parents have more choices, where students and educators have access to technology and where students gain the tools they need to become life-long learners.
Students are achieving at record-setting levels, and the Province is providing more resources to support students in their quest for excellence. A record 79 per cent of students completed high school last year and Aboriginal student results have increased by 4 per cent over the 2001/02 school year. We are working to increase those rates even further through Aboriginal Enhancement Agreements and by individual district's setting goals to improve Aboriginal student achievement.
Other key achievements this year include:
- BC students earned higher marks on provincial exams than in the previous year;
- Foundation Skills Assessment results for 2003 showed B.C. students continued to do better in math;
- new provincial standards to guide B.C. schools in developing codes of conduct to improve student safety, along with a comprehensive new guidebook and expanded Web resources for parents, teachers and students;
- high-speed Internet access for up to 154 rural and remote schools through the Provincial Learning Network as of June 2004;
- a five-point student achievement action plan to provide more resources for teachers and students, and to recognize excellence in teaching, and in early literacy; and
- in 2003 $611 million in funding was allocated for school capital projects across B.C. over three years to ensure modern, safe facilities for students.
Through Achieve BC, we are providing more resources for parents to support their children. Launched by Premier Campbell in September 2003, Achieve BC is a website dedicated to parents and students — from Kindergarten through K-12, to post-secondary education and on to the world of work.
For the first time, parents are now able to fully participate in their child's education. They are an integral part of school planning councils, working together with educators to create school plans that tie in with the accountability framework and with district reviews, to focus on improving student achievement.
B.C.'s public education system is a critical part of establishing our children's sense of their future and giving them the power to go forward and pursue their dreams. With students, parents, teachers and other educators, trustees and the ministry working together we will help students achieve their very best.
Honourable Tom Christensen
Minister of Education
Message from the Deputy Minister
I am pleased to present the Annual Service Plan Report for the 2003/2004 school year. This report is a reflection of the dedication shown by the people working at every level of our K-12 education system, and I would like to thank each of you for your commitment. Everyone has worked hard to achieve our main goals and objectives, and it is with great pride that we present our accomplishments to you in this report.
The key to our success over the past year was our ability to obtain the support and commitment of all members of the education system in focusing on our overarching goal — which is to continue to improve student achievement. The tangible results of our efforts can be seen by looking at the rate at which students graduate from secondary school. In 2002/2003, a record 79 per cent of students graduated from British Columbia's secondary schools, which represents a 2 per cent increase over the previous year.
It has been a great year for education in British Columbia, and I look forward to the challenge of continually improving student achievement.