ABEABC GOVERNMENT LIAISON REPORT
Submitted by Janet Webster, ABEABC government liaison
The ABE Association is pleased to have had representation from three ministries involved in various facets of ABE in the province of British Columbia. A big thank you to the ministries involved for ensuring that these representatives attended the ABE Conference in Chilliwack, BC at the University College of the Fraser Valley in May 2007.
Shelley Gilmour, Ministry of Education – Shelley.Gilmour@gov.bc.ca
Patricio Ibarra, Ministry of Attorney General – Patricio.Ibarra@gov.bc.ca
Jessie Zielke, Industry Training Authority – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry Of Education Update May 2007
A Brief Overview of Various Reports Released Over the Past Year
Thomas Report: This report was commissioned by MEd and AVED to provide a comparative overview of adult basic education services offered by the K-12 and college sectors.
BC Progress Report: A panel of business leaders and academics tasked to look at the effectiveness of the K-12 system, and specifically, how to improve the high school graduation rate - Campus 2020 - Geoff Plant commissioned to undertake an extensive review of post secondary education system.
The two common and recurring themes in these reports and in other provincial level discussions on the topic of ABE are 'regional collaboration' among the education service providers, and 'data and accountability'.
Building on these themes, several recent provincial initiatives and developments have occurred:
System Collaboration: Meetings have taken place between college presidents and school superintendents to discuss opportunities for regional coordination in the areas of ABE and Trades education. It is expected that some pilot projects will be supported over the next year.
Read Now BC: This is the name given to the provincial literacy action plan announced in January. The plan provides direction for a series of initiatives to improve reading success for young children, school age children, adults and aboriginals. The Ministry of Advanced Education has the lead for developing the provincial Adult Opportunities Action Plan.
Bill 20: Several important changes have been made to the School Act to improve student achievement and enhance accountability for results. Of significance for ABE, school districts have been directed to coordinate the development of annual regional literacy plans.
Ministry of Education Adult Education Directions: The Ministry will be undertaking a curriculum and assessment project to standardize the learning outcomes for adult education courses offered in the K-12 system from the basic literacy and numeracy level through to Grade 10; a new data collection and reporting system for adult students in the K-12 system will be considered, and K-12 funding levels are under review.
Information provided by:
Shelley Gilmour, Adult Education/Literacy
BC Ministry of Education
Tel: 387-6013 Fax: 387-2042
Ministry of Attorney General's Settlement and Multiculturalism Division's Update
Planning for New Immigrant Settlement Funding:
In December 2006, the federal government confirmed that B.C. would receive approximately $63 million in funding for the current fiscal year 07-08 (an approximate $27 million increase over last year's funding) and $75 million next fiscal year 08-09. Over the past year, the Ministry has been undertaking consultations with a variety of stakeholders to determine priorities for immigrant settlement services in anticipation of the province reciving new federal funding. The following are some of the national priorities that were identified:
Reduce Waitlists for Adult English Language Training (ELSA)
With the additional funding, The Ministry entered negotiations last month with service providers in the communities of the Lower Mainland and West/Central Fraser Valley where high waitlists have been identified to increase the number of seats contracted. It is expected that due to these measures that by September of this year, waitlists will be substantially reduced.