FREDERICTON – The New Brunswick Government needs to talk to all stakeholders if it wants to better include students with disabilities in the education system.
“We were very disappointed that the teacher assistants and the school intervention workers were not part of the Inclusive Education Forum, which took place in Fredericton the last two days”, said Sandy Harding, president of CUPE 2745.
“As clear stakeholders in this process, their absence is indicative of the lack of understanding of the important role teacher assistants and school intervention workers play in the education system”, added Harding.
The MacKay report on inclusive education recognizes that teacher assistants are the primary service providers for many of the day-to-day support services to students. The report also pointed out that their limited hours of work prevent them from being included as full participants in the educational team.
“There were many recommendations that Mr. McKay made in his study that directly impacts teachers’ assistants and school intervention workers as well as, to a lesser extent, library assistants and clerical”, said Harding.
“Many more suggestions resulted from this week’s forum. We hope the minister looks at some of the suggestions as they pertain to our group and at the need for professional development and full time hours to spend more time with the students that need help, meeting with teachers and other professionals and fulfilling other duties.”
“We believe the education forum is a step in the right direction to address inclusionary practices but we hope this process will include all stakeholders,” concluded Harding
For more information:
Sandy Harding, President CUPE Local 2745 – (506) 832-6022
Ginette Kervin, CUPE Representative (506) 548-8815