Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Islands School Board To Receive Funding

Earlier today, it came down from the National Assembly in Quebec, that the Liberal government will invest a large sum of money into the Islands French Catholic School Board.  Our new Islands Deputy to the National Assembly in Quebec, Germain Chevarie was pleased to announce, in the name of the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Mrs Michelle Courchesne, the governmental investment of $1,129,853 to the Islands School Board, Commission Scolaire des Iles, in updating its heritage real estate.

More precisely, this sum will serve to effect work on several of the French Catholic islands schools, on the Magdalen Islands.  This government aide was attributed to the Commission, in the framework measures of maintaining buildings and of the reabsorption of the maintenance deficit of the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports.  The maintenance money will be available to the school board in two parts, with respective budgets of $230,500 and $126,700, during the year. These sums will be awarded to the school board for the all of the building under their jurisdiction on the islands, for the maintenance of the schools for 2008 and 2009. These measures have been registered with the Quebec Plan of Infrastructures.

“It gives me reason to rejoice, for the students and for the teachers, who will continue to benefit from these quality infrastructures for many years to come. Our government has put in motion, in a clear manner, by means of this investment in the education heritage and in offering to the population of the Islands, favorable places for meetings,” declared Germain Chevarie.

Although the English school will recieve none of this funding because all the Protestant schools are under the Eastern Shores School Board, in New Carlisle, on the Gaspesia Peninsula, this is nevertheless good news for the islands.  Our schools are getting older and more delapitated.  The schools amongst the Iles-de-la-Madeleine communities have had relatively little money re-invested into them for many years and all the schools are aged. Some of the elementary schools on the islands as well as the Polyvalente des Iles have had little or no renovations, in recent years.  None of Catholic schools have the fresh-air quality of the English schools of Grosse Isle and Entry Island.  Though very clean, they all seem to have that closed-in, over-populated, worn-out, concrete cinder-block atmosphere about the buildings.  The only institution which is condusive to learning is the College Campus, CEGEP de la Gaspesie et des Iles.

On that note, I will say that I truly believe that te governments of the past have over-looked the benefits of small schools, while consolidating the institutions.  It is my belief that there would be far less reason to have armed guards, patroling the hallways of our youths institutions if the hundreds and even thousands of students were not piled in on top of each other.  I would think it would be far cheaper to invest in more instructors for smaller schools then in maintaining extremely large multiple building institution and busing children away from their home.  Here on the islands, the youth of Grand Entry spend almost 2 hours a day on the school bus. For me - I find that ..., every negative word, I can think of.

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