This is page numbers 241 - 272 of the Hansard for the 13th Assembly, 7th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was chairman.

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Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have to agree with the Minister, I believe this department is top heavy and that basically the money should be going to our communities. I think that is where the money should be spent is in the classrooms to educate our students ensuring that they do get a quality education rather than having all this money spent basically for consultants and whatnot to go around and tell us what we already know in which the problem is, is that we do not have enough human resources in our classrooms to conduct the day-to-day operation maintenance of these programs.

--Applause

Will the Minister basically tell me when we will see an increase in the numbers of teachers in our classrooms?

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have just been going through the committee report on the Main Estimates. Very clearly, we have a number of choices before us. We have already pointed out that we are looking in the longer term for added revenues as one way to deal with this issue. The more immediate one is if this legislature decides that it is going to move substantial amounts of money from one area to education, then this legislature can do that.

The question is, what are we going to do, what areas are we going to identify so that we have a balance. It is all well and good to have a very well educated population, but if they are poorly housed and they are sick because there is not adequate health care and they are unemployed because there are no jobs, it sort of defeats the purpose. We have to strive for that balance and, once again, I will ask any direction and support and guidance you give in terms of identifying funding that should be moved within the government, I would be more than happy to seriously look at that. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not too sure about my other colleagues in regard to the situation they find themselves in their classroom, but I know for a fact in my riding there have been a lot of teachers resigning because of stress, because of having to have this increased workload and it is having an effect on the education of the students in our small communities. I would like to ask the Minister, has his department basically put together a list of the number of teachers that have resigned in the last year because of the increased workload and the stress that they are under, and the communities having to deal with the problem of not having adequate teachers because of the resignation of teachers because of this problem that does exist in our communities?

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Member raises an important issue related to recruitment and retention. The turnover rate in teachers, it is my understanding, is approaching 20 percent and it is much higher than we would like. The other part of that issue is that the amount of people applying for teaching positions in the north has dropped substantially as well. In some cases down to almost 10 percent of what it was before. Yes, we are aware of those, we have those numbers. As to exactly why each teacher may have left, I do not know if we have those particular facts. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

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Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. In this House today, Mr. Speaker, the Minister announced $1 million for a program called, Working Together. He also announced $1 million for a program called, Skills for Work Program. There is $2 million. I realize that $1 million is directed at students coming back to the Northwest Territories to work and that is very worthwhile. An interesting point in the Skills for Work is that, and I read, "one component of the Skills for Work Program worth special mention is the enhancement of training opportunities for special needs assistants," I was just curious about where these special needs assistants that we are going to train are going to get jobs. Who is going to hire them considering that we do not have any positions open for special assistants and we have a tremendous lack of them in our classrooms?

Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

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Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as the Members will note, these are proposed at this point, they have not been approved. The plan is to leave some money to be available to put towards training special needs assistants and hopefully be able to find some of that money to deal with some of the issues raised in the ministerial forum. Thank you.

Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

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Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, if the government does, I realize this is proposed, but if they do spend $1 million training special needs assistants or other adults for different areas, could I make a suggestion that perhaps our schools are sitting empty all summer. I know that people take their children to the south, they should bring them here to the north to Yellowknife to enrol them in remedial and special summer courses to get them up on par so they can catch up with their class for the following year, could I suggest that they might spend $1 million offering some remedial and summer classes in some of our schools over the summer months and train some of our special needs assistants on the job?

Employ some of our education, university students that are out taking education degrees and train some special needs assistants at the same time while offering a viable program to northern students who need to, for some reason, get caught up because of special needs or lack of special needs assistants in their classroom during the normal school year.

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.