By Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative reporter
CORNWALL – A plan for rural education in SDG counties has hit a stumbling block, a lack of information.
SDG County Council heard from education consultant Monika Ferenczy, who presented the plan summary, but not the final report.
“The goal of the project is to find ways to keep our rural schools open and in order to be able to do that, we first have to rely on some data,” she explained. “The lack of data is one of the biggest challenges and obstacles we face in being able to find solutions.”
She said the main point of the report is to focus on equity in programming and opportunities in smaller SDG centres. But lack of data from area school boards and the Department of Education hampered part of the process.
Principal Allan Armstrong said some of the school boards involved did not provide information.
“But that’s a discussion we’re going to have,” he said. “Let’s hope that by [November] new information will be shared by school boards and the ministry [of Education] which turns out to be a bit of a problem getting information.
Councilor Kirsten Gardner (South Dundas) mentioned that the draft is a starting point for the final report next month.
“The province did not provide the public information we needed for this document,” she said. “There must certainly be some appeal, if you will.”
Armstrong agreed, saying, “There have been promises from the province that they will respond to us. It’s not for lack of trying. »
He explained that general manager Tim Simpson sent several emails, as did the board’s education committee.
“There just haven’t been any answers,” Armstrong said, adding that the pandemic has shown the growing needs for a plan for rural education.
The committee working with Ferenczy will complete the final report of the county’s proposed education plan, which will be presented at the county council’s November meeting.