Message from the Minister and
It is my pleasure to present the Ministry of Education's 2004/05 Annual Service Plan Report.
This report details the ministry's accomplishments and the commitments met during the fourth year of this government's mandate.
In 2004/05, we focused on increasing student achievement, improving literacy, ensuring schools are safe and healthy places
for students, and providing the tools our students need to make British Columbia the best educated, most literate jurisdiction
on the continent.
Over the past year, British Columbia students achieved outstanding results. According to the latest international test of
15-year-olds, our students are among the best in the world in math, reading and science. Results from the 2003 Programme for
International Student Assessment show that no one outperformed BC in math and reading, and only Finland and Japan did better
A good measure of achievement is the rate at which students graduate from secondary school. Last year, the provincial secondary
school completion rate remained at a record 79 per cent, while the rate for Aboriginal students continued to rise. A record
47 per cent of Aboriginal students finished secondary school in 2003/04, an increase of five per cent from 2000/01.
The increased emphasis on improving literacy is paying off. According to the latest Foundation Skills Assessment, BC students
are improving their reading. Compared with last year, boys, girls, Aboriginal and English-as-a-second-language students in
Grades 4 and 7 scored higher in reading.
The success of our students is the result of the excellent work going on in classrooms throughout the province. Students,
teachers, principals, parents and school boards continue to focus on improving student achievement. The Province continues
to provide more opportunities for students as they strive for excellence.
Highlights of 2004/05 include:
The Province's first-ever grants to support innovative literacy programs in BC's 60 school districts. Every district has
made literacy a priority and the innovation grants are linked to each district's goals to improve literacy.
- The first-ever healthy schools forum to develop a framework to promote health in schools as part of the Province's $15.5
million comprehensive plan to help make BC students the healthiest and most physically active in Canada. The province will
expand the Action Schools! BC program to all K–9 schools by 2010 and develop a secondary school model.
- $10 million for new textbooks for classrooms to ensure students have the tools they need to achieve their best in school.
- Completion of high-speed internet upgrades at almost 600 schools to improve computer literacy and expand community opportunities.
- $2.1 million for the 2004/05 school year to put almost 12,000 additional computers in schools, pilot laptop computer projects
in 12 districts and support electronic learning in rural schools.
- A new web-based tool for parents and students to provide quick and easy access to the over 5,000 school choice options,
including French immersion, distance electronic learning and programs in technology, fine arts, sports and trades.
- Additional support for students with special needs, including extra funding for districts where special needs students move
after the start of the school year, specialized equipment and an annual report to be produced in 2005/06.
- 35,000 parents attended Ready, Set, Learn events at nearly 1,000 schools to learn how to prepare their three-year-olds for
- The announcement of the first 95 schools to be upgraded over the next three years as part of the Province's $1.5 billion
plan to make BC schools earthquake safe.
- $700 million for school capital improvements across BC over the next three years to ensure a safe, healthy learning environment
that allows students to achieve their best.
BC's education system opens a world of possibilities for our children. By investing in education and working in partnership
with students, parents, principals, teachers and trustees, we are creating a vibrant future for British Columbia.
The 2004/05 Ministry of Education Annual Service Plan Report compares the actual results to the expected results identified
in the ministry's 2004/05–2006/07 Service Plan. I am accountable for those results as reported.
Honourable Tom Christensen
Minister of Education
June 4, 2005