The education minister outlined a plan yesterday to regulate teacher education in Nova Scotia in response to a report that concluded universities are churning out a glut of new teachers.
Teachers will have to be trained in subjects that are in demand, and the programs will also require approval from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission.
Casey was responding to recommendations made by a three-person panel, which found 1,000 new teachers are competing for only 369 positions each year.
Despite the oversupply and against the panel’s recommendation, Casey approved a new program at Cape Breton University, starting in 2009, on condition that enrolment is capped at 40, it focuses on areas of labour market need and is approved by the MPHEC.
“We took that step strategically because we recognized that in order to meet the demand in certain disciplines, we need to be training in those disciplines,” Casey said.
Casey said she supports the review panel’s recommendation to urge universities to stop offering teacher education programs through out-of-province partnerships.
Dalhousie University announced yesterday it’s suspending its teacher training partnership with Memorial University. The alliance would’ve allowed students to take bachelor of education classes in Halifax.
“We had discussions (with the minister) and obviously they had a point of view and we had our point of view,” Dal spokesman Charles Crosby said.
“We decided to respect the government.”
Casey is also supporting an integrated arts degree and bachelor of education program between Saint Mary’s and Mount Saint Vincent universities.
Jim Sharpe, dean of education at Mount Saint Vincent University, approved of Casey’s overall decision, saying legislation is long overdue and it will improve the quality of teacher education in Nova Scotia.