Reading this issue of Education News , I am reminded once again of the many directions and endeavours in which the University of Regina ’ s Faculty of Education is deeply engaged . We are only able to capture a few highlights representing “ the tip of the iceberg ” so to speak . As a Faculty , what is our primary purpose ? Ultimately , the well-being of the school age population of Saskatchewan is the raison d ’ être for the education we offer for pre-service and in-service teachers at the undergraduate and graduate levels .
This Spring ’ s provincial budget allocation to the postsecondary sector amounted to a 4 % increase . At the University of Regina this translated into a budget increase of less than 2 %. As a result , each unit on campus , from the President ’ s office down , has been required to take a 3 % cut in the coming fiscal year . How this will impact the delivery of quality programs is at this point not yet clear , although it is obvious that we will continue to be required to do as much ( or more !) as usual , with less . This trend has continued over the past 4 years of my tenure as Dean of the Faculty . Both our university and our government continue to expect “ greater efficiencies ” in the way we do business .
There are some ironies in such a stance . For example , the Ministry of Education , through the Board of Teacher Education and Certification ( BTEC ), has recently approved an after degree ( B . Ed .) certificate in Early Childhood Education ( ECE ). This year of additional teacher qualification , focusing on the needs of children ages 3-5 , reflects the inclusion 3 years ago of
Left : Dr . James McNinch , Dean Photo credit : Trevor Hopkins
ECE into the mandate of the Ministry of Education and away from the purview of the Ministry of Social Services . At the same time , there is a real shortage of affordable quality early learning spaces in this province . There is no question that early learning experiences of young children are critical for long-term successful development of every individual and community . Teachers working with that age group need to be prepared to provide them with the best learning environments possible . A similar story can be told about the need for teachers working in the burgeoning field of inclusive / special education , the pressing needs of teachers working with students for whom English is an additional ( second or third ) language , as well as the need for skilled teacher-librarian / resource specialists and for teachers working with distinct adult populations with unique literacy and social needs .
While the Ministry of Education understands and promotes additional qualifications in these fields , no