Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care, has issued the following statement to mark Education Week 2023:
“For over three and a half decades, B.C. has joined together with other provinces to proclaim this week and celebrate and recognize the remarkable achievements and work happening in school districts throughout the province.
“Education Week provides an important opportunity to recognize and celebrate the vital contributions of teachers, principals and vice-principals, superintendents, education leaders, school district staff, trustees, as well as students and families, to support educational excellence and student achievement. From April 24-28,we are proclaiming Education Week in B.C. this year.
“The Province is committed to supporting school districts to ensure we provide students the tools needed to succeed through their school years and beyond. We are working hard to make quality, inclusive education available for all students in British Columbia.
“This past April, we launched the Province’s new Feeding Futures fund. Over the next three years, school districts will have $214 million to spend on creating or expanding local school food programs throughout B.C. As the Province’s largest investment in school food programs, the funds will be used for purchasing food and hiring dedicated staff to co-ordinate meals and snacks for students who need it the most.
“But we know this is just a part of our path forward to making sure students can learn and thrive. When attending school, all students need to feel like they can be their true selves. Empowering students and educators to identify and take action against racism and discrimination in British Columbia schools is the aim of a new provincial K-12 Anti-Racism Action Plan, launched this past January.
“The plan will create change in B.C. schools by raising awareness and creating resources to improve the school experience for racialized students, staff and families so that everyone feels a strong sense of belonging.
“Our sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive education in B.C. schools also aims to support the well-being of all our students and staff. By helping students understand and respect their differences, sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive education helps to create schools that are more welcoming and provide greater acceptance for everyone. We know this work happens on the ground with a strong network of advocates and partners in our schools all throughout the year.
“In order for students to thrive, parents and caregivers need support so they can succeed, too, and that’s why we’re building and upgrading the schools, kids, families and staff need. This also means prioritizing child care, with nearly 10,000 new spaces funded on school grounds.
“We’re so grateful for all the hard work that happens in B.C. classrooms every day from all our K-12 staff. B.C. has a world-class education system and we’re proud to support schools as we work together to help B.C. students reach their full potential.
“Our government is committed to supporting the next generation of learners and preparing them for today’s fast-paced world. If we all continue to work together, we can build a province for British Columbians to enjoy for many years to come.”