Churchill visits Central as part of Take Your MLA to School Day
Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill was among the members of the Nova Scotia legislature who accepted an invitation from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to spend some time in school through the NSTU's Take Your MLA to School Day.
On Monday, May 28, Churchill paid a visit to Central School in Yarmouth.
"It was a really good experience," he said. "I've been in a lot of the schools, actually, in the area down here."
A common thread from his school visits, Churchill said, has been the challenges faced by schools because of cuts in the education system.
"Teachers are really facing the strain when it comes to trying to do what they need to do for our kids because the resources are being taken away from them," he said. "There (are fewer) teachers. Teachers are being asked to do more with less and it's become pretty apparent here in Yarmouth and other parts of the province that, despite what the government says, these cuts are having a direct impact on the classroom."
Take Your MLA Back to School Day was held in March, but Churchill's Yarmouth visit was postponed because the original date turned out to be a storm day.
Referring to his visit to Central School last week, Churchill said he had a chance to chat with students and staff.
"I got to spend 10 to 15 minutes with each class to talk about things and had some time to talk to the administration and teachers," he said.
As for the students in particular, Churchill said he was impressed by their level of knowledge.
"A lot of the kids are actually really educated when it comes to democracy and politics," he said. "The kids had a lot of questions about what it's like being an MLA, how to become an MLA, why did you get involved, what do you do day to day? That sort of stuff, so we had a lot of fun conversations."
In one class, he said, the students held a mock debate, getting a chance to experience what MLAs do for real in the legislature.
Similarly, the idea behind Take Your MLA to School Day was to get members of the legislature to spend a few hours in a school environment.
"The goal of this initiative," the NSTU says on its website, "was to give MLAs firsthand experiences in Nova Scotia's classrooms and schools. Province-wide, we are endeavouring to have MLAs in a variety of classrooms that, collectively, would present a comprehensive view of our schools."
Source: Yarmouth Vanguard, June 5, 2012