For the first time in many years, the BC government officially proclaimed today, October 5, World Teachers’ Day and hosted a celebration at the Legislature to honour the contributions made by teachers across the province.
Premier John Horgan paid tribute to many teachers who helped him along his journey, and vowed to support public education. “We are going to make sure that teachers in BC have the resources and tools they need to give children the education they deserve,” he told a crowd of teachers, trustees, parents, and a 60-member student choir from South Park Elementary School.
Education Minister Rob Fleming said that the government “is focused on investing in British Columbia’s education system and developing new relationships with our education partners that are built on trust and respect.”
BCTF President Glen Hansman noted that UNESCO and Education International are highlighting the importance of teachers’ professional autonomy and freedom to choose appropriate methods, as well as ensuring the right to teach in safe and inclusive schools.
“On behalf of the BCTF, I would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the dedicated, passionate, creative, and continuously learning teachers who live and work in all regions of this province—including all the new members of the profession joining us this year,” Hansman said.
Tanya Adams, who is Nlha7kapmux and a member of the Lytton First Nation, told the assembled crowd that she knew from a young age that change was needed in the school system, and that’s what she strives to bring to her classroom at Craigflower Elementary school in Victoria. “The new BC curriculum beautifully weaves Indigenous knowledge and truthful history of Canada, so we can teach and integrate First Nations history to all students, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal,” she said.
— Nancy Knickerbocker (@NancyKnicker) October 5, 2017
Four past-presidents of the BCTF attended the ceremony: past-president Jim Iker; Jinny Sims, now Minister of Citizen Services in the NDP government; Elsie McMurphy, now a trustee in the Saanich school district; and Larry Kuehn, now Director of Research and Technology for the BCTF.
— Jinny Sims (@jinnysims) October 5, 2017