by Lucie Roy
Morinville News Correspondent

Education Minister David Eggen visited Morinville Community High School Oct. 19 for a tour of the building, an interview on the school’s television station, and a talk with students about the province’s Future Ready initiative, the launch of the curriculum survey, and the extension of a post-secondary tuition freeze.

MCHS Principal Don Hinks said Eggen had come to check on some of the school’s programs, especially the Career and Technology Studies (CTS) area.

“It is an honour to come to Morinville, and I know your school has a great reputation not just for its physical beauty but for the programming that you have,” Eggen told students during an assembly.

The Minister went on to say education was the second highest budget item in the province next to health care with $7.2 billion spent operating schools last year and another $2.6 billion on capital projects.

Despite the downturn in the economy, Eggen said the province had maintained education spending because of the importance the government places on education at all levels in helping to diversify the economy.

Future Ready is the government’s new way to help build programming for young people from K to Grade 12 education, post-secondary education, and the employers students will be working for in the future.

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Eggen said it is important to link the three and that his government wants to make sure people understand that when they are learning English through communications skills, or math and science, that it has a direct relation and correlation to the jobs the student will have in the future.

“Future Ready is a way to link these initiatives together, and you will see it quite a lot in the next few weeks, months, [and] years,” Eggen said, adding the government kicked off the program with the launch an Alberta Curriculum Survey. “That is the second reason I came to see you this morning because of course you have been absorbing and interacting with the curriculum in a much more profound way than any of us here in the province.”

Eggen told students the province needs to hear from them to figure out what needs improvement and choose a direction the province can go to ensure Alberta education is exactly what students need as individuals and what society needs in a changing economy.

For Eggen, good jobs begin with good education, and education is the cornerstone of the province’s economy.

Minister Eggen answered seven questions from MCHS student Skylar Luomala. Teacher Gregg Boutestein said the interview would be available on MCTV once edited.

Eggen was presented with a Wolves sweatshirt and jam made by the school’s Urban Agriculture class.

Those wishing to take the education curriculum survey can do so at alberta.ca/curriculum-survey.aspx.

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