CBT: Education a priority on the West Coast

On May 8, over 40 people from throughout the region and beyond met to discuss the state of education on the west coast and to begin to envision future directions. Educators, administrators, parents, teachers, and students, from Ahousaht to Macoah and all points in between, as well as from Vancouver Island University and North Island College, gathered at Marina West in Tofino for a day-long Regional Learning Forum organized by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT).

After a welcome by Chief Moses Martin of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and a round of introductions, the group reviewed some regional statistics related to education. Given that statistics lack context, this presentation spurred a lot of discussion from the cultural relevance of foundation skills assessment tests to the challenges of tracking attendance and graduation rates.

Participants at the learning forum were encouraged by the strong involvement of communities and organizations from throughout the region. Discussions were honest, open, and sometimes challenging, as we discussed the many facets of education, from the impacts of the residential school system to challenges around housing and seasonal-or under-employment to the limited ways in which we currently measure educational “success.” As attendees shared information about their educational programs and initiatives, their successes and their challenges, it was clear that through collaboration our efforts could be magnified.

To this end, the forum ended with some concrete next steps. The first is for the CBT to convene a West Coast Learning Council with the goal of shaping ideas, energy, and resources into regional actions. (An excellent model for the education council is the Coastal Family Resources Coalition, a group of people serving children and families on the west coast. Together, this group coordinates programs and services, advocates

for resources, and is an excellent venue for communication amongst service providers.) Another practical suggestion was an education listserv to be managed by the CBT, which will create a means of easily sharing education opportunities across the region. Lastly, the group decided to meet again before the end of the school year with a focus on specific shared projects.

If you are interested in learning more about the West Coast Learning Council or would like to add your name to the listserv, please contact the CBT at 250-725-2219.

Just Posted

Youth lead Ucluelet Cemetery nameplate project

Students navigate maps and scour local archives over three years to honour deceased.

Tofino awards $2.4M contract to connect path to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

The district announced the project will be paid entirely with grants.

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

Divers encounter giant, weird-looking fish in Barkley Sound

Rendezvous Dive Adventures charter sees six-foot creature normally found in tropical water

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read