Early childhood programs should be part of school system, say teachers



    HALIFAX, May 17 /CNW/ - The 88th Annual Council of the Nova Scotia
Teachers Union wrapped up Sunday in Halifax. Over two-and-a-half days, 275
voting delegates debated some 120 resolutions dealing with issues ranging from
integrating early human development programs into the education system to
addressing the issue of chronic student truancy.
    "Research clearly establishes the critical importance of providing an
early childhood environment that is rich, stimulating, nurturing, educational
and safe for children," says NSTU President Alexis Allen. "Success in school,
with social skills, lifelong health outcomes, lifespan and quality of life are
tied to early experiences.
    "Many parents and guardians are equipped to provide these essentials, but
our current society has left far too many children without the necessary
foundation to support them as both young and adult learners," the NSTU
president says.
    The resolution calls for voluntary, equitable pre-school programs to be
fully funded by the Departments of Education and Community Services, and
taught by teachers certified in early human development.
    "Nova Scotia universities should seek to integrate early childhood
development programs and teacher education programs, " says Allen.
    Delegates also passed a resolution calling upon the Department of
Education to work with teachers in addressing the issue of chronic student
truancy.
    "Despite the best efforts of teachers, levels of student truancy are
unacceptable," says Allen. "It is time to address this issue in a serious
manner. We must find the underlying reasons for chronic student absenteeism
and solutions that involve not just classroom teachers but also students,
parents and others involved in public education."
    On Friday evening, Shelley Morse was acclaimed first vice-president of
the Union for a second one-year term. Morse is a primary teacher and
vice-principal of Aldershot Elementary School in the Annapolis Valley.

    The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents some 10,900 public school
teachers, community college faculty and community college professional support
employees.




For further information:

For further information: Angela Murray, (902) 497-0194 (cellular)

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Nova Scotia Teachers Union

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