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Cyberbullying, technology, international education

July 6, 2012

Cyberbullying, Technology, and International Education Among Issues Discussed as Education Ministers Meet in Halifax

Challenges and opportunities related to the delivery of high-quality education in the 21st century were discussed this week as the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Education, and the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, joined their provincial and territorial counterparts in Halifax for the 100th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).

Twenty-first century learning was the defining theme of the meeting, which concluded today (Friday, July 6) following discussions on anti-bullying initiatives, the impact of technology in the classroom, as well as progress made on common priorities such as early childhood learning, international education, and other key issues facing the K-12 and post-secondary sectors.

“Technological advancements, and the advent of the Internet and social media sites, are changing the way we gather and share information, the way in which we interact with each other, and the way education is delivered to students,” said Minister Jackman. “We must continue to look at innovative ways to take advantage of the technology our young people use each day. The more we embrace the educational possibilities these technologies present, the better we can prepare our young people for the ever-changing world in which they will live and work.”

Minister Jackman noted, however, that these technologies can also bring challenges, such as the onset of cyberbullying, and finding ways to teach young people to use social media in a responsible manner that never serves to intimidate, harass or humiliate others.

Ministers also recognized that education, including post-secondary education systems and institutions, must adapt to the ever-changing demands of a globalized society, while continuing to promote international student mobility and ensure that Canada remains a preferred destination for students from abroad.

Minister Burke noted that in Newfoundland and Labrador, post-secondary education is a model for affordability and accessibility that is attracting students from Canada and around the world.

“In Newfoundland and Labrador, we believe in the transformative power of education, and how it can move people forward to a prosperous future,” said Minister Burke. “Our provincial post-secondary investment has grown from $228 million in 2003-04 to $528.4 million in 2012-13, an increase of 130.8 per cent. Tuition fees at Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic are among the lowest in Canada, and since 2005 the Provincial Government has invested $183 million to support a tuition freeze. We continue to focus on the long-term prosperity of all our students, whether their future is in Newfoundland and Labrador or around the world.”

Ministers were also pleased to welcome the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, who provided an update on the work of the commission.

Other issues of common interest discussed during the meetings included CMEC’s relationship with the Federal Government, and the recent experience of provinces and territories in bringing together early childhood learning and development to create a seamless continuum of learning from the early years through to formal public schooling.

Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada’s ministers of education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and international levels. For more information, visit www.cmec.ca.

Link to the original news release

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