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The Manitoba Teachers Society welcomes the Province's review of education.

Norm Gould, president of MTS, said it's been a long time since such a study was conducted, and examining what other jurisdictions are doing well makes a lot of sense.

A review of Manitoba’s kindergarten to Grade 12 education system will look at a number of issues including reducing the number of school divisions in the province, or even scrapping them altogether.

The province of Nova Scotia got rid of school boards entirely last year and added a provincial advisory council instead, something Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen indicated may be on the table.

"Manitoba Teachers Society doesn't agree with eliminating school divisions because they certainly do serve a purpose and are responsive to the needs of the community," said Gould.

Gould says he would like to see the issue of class size explored by the review committee.

MTS spearheaded an effort to get the former NDP government to implement legislation that required K-3 classrooms sizes to be limited to 20 students to provide teachers with more one-on-one time with their students; an initiative the current PC government has discontinued.

"As a result, there has been a steady rise in class size in some parts of the province. If you really want to improve literacy and numeracy we really need to invest in those early years in elementary school," said Gould.

He's hopeful the commission will enter the process in good faith with no pre-conceived ideas on education, and seriously consider the input from all sides.

"I totally understand from my members why ... when this review is mentioned, the level of anxiety and stress is heightened. Especially when you start talking about amalgamations, seniority, transfers and how its going to affect the resources in the classrooms and what impact it will have on students."

The province expects to release the final review with recommendations for improvements in March 2020.

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