What is the role of the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development?
The Minister sets the provincial scope and directions in education. These directions and goals are explained in a provincial education plan. The staff at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will move forward with the education plan on behalf of the Minister.
- set provincial goals and standards;
- maintain an environment that supports learning;
- provide money and other resources as required;
- provide an appropriate legislative and policy framework;
- identify and reflect the social and economic needs and desires of New Brunswickers in the provincial education program;
- identify and communicate provincial expectations to DECs, district staff, parents, guardians and students;
- encourage and enable the work of dedicated education professionals, and;
- may indemnify and defend members of the District Education Councils with respect to any claim for damages arising from any act done or omitted in good faith in the execution of their duties.
The Education Act (s. 38) requires a minimum of two provincial forums each year with both the Anglophone and Francophone sectors. While the District Education Councils provide local governance, the Minister has a responsibility to ensure that some basic standards are in place across New Brunswick. These standards are found in the Education Act and Regulations, and in the Department’s plans and policies. These standards define the level of service that New Brunswickers expect from their education system, and ensure that fundamental curriculum, safety, and service requirements are met.
The Minister meets regularly with the Chairs from each DEC as part of a Minister’s Forum. These meetings allow for information sharing with the DEC and an opportunity to consult and collaborate on important issues and policies.