MLA Wayne Ewasko, Minister of Education
Room 168, Legislative Building
Winnipeg MB R3C 0V8
Dear Mr. Ewasko,
Manitoba parents and school staff wish to welcome you into your new role as Education Minister for our province. It is our hope that your experience as a teacher and guidance counsellor will help you appreciate and better understand the needs of students and staff in Manitoba schools.
Around this time last year, February 2021 was proclaimed to be Inclusive Education Month in Manitoba. Our former minister of education, MLA Cliff Cullen, posted a proclamation on social media, and we waited with great anticipation to see what changes this might bring about for neurodivergent and disabled students.
We were, of course, incredibly disappointed when this post turned out to be performative and empty, leading to no significant or meaningful change. In fact, it led to nothing more than a single Twitter post.
It’s a new year, with many additional challenges, particularly for school staff and students. It is our hope that having a new education minister who possesses extensive first-hand experience as an educator will bring about the change we’ve eagerly awaited.
We’ve seen one division hire a Divisional Principal of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism in Education, which is a good start. It would be wonderful to see all divisions creating this position, with the full support of our provincial government.
While we’ve seen some additional policies put in place, schools haven’t received anywhere near enough funding or support for these changes to genuinely and positive impact the students who need it most.
I have collaborated with neurodivergent and disabled students and their families, and have compiled an extensive list of practical, every-day changes that would initiate improved quality of education and school experiences for children and youth in Manitoba.
I share that list with you here with the hope you will listen to Manitoba students and parents, and let their voices guide your decision-making as minister on their behalf.
Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.
Jillian Enright, CYW, BA Psych.
Inclusion and Education Advocate
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