Dragons’ Den Education Plans

Norm Gould, President of The Manitoba Teachers’ Society, says he objects to Winnipeg economic development agency North Forge Technology Exchange turning the search for education initiatives into pitches “like on Dragons’ Den” – all with the blessing of Manitoba’s Minister of Education.

Gould was asked what he thought about an early literacy and numeracy initiative referred to in today’s Manitoba Government Throne Speech. “It sounds like private enterprises like Wawanesa Insurance, National Leasing, and Thompson, Dorfman, Sweatman are going to come up with literacy and numeracy strategies and present them just like on Dragons’ Den.

“These ideas will be pitched to a panel and the winning submission will drive literacy and numeracy initiatives in the province going forward,” said the incredulous Gould.

“I find it extremely disrespectful and insulting that the over 15,000 Public School teachers are not part of this initiative. Furthermore a Kindergarten teacher, or Grade 1 to Grade 3 teacher would certainly have ideas as to how to improve literacy and numeracy in the Province and their voice wasn’t even requested.”

Gould says he doesn’t know Jeff Ryzner, the North Forge CEO and has nothing bad to say about him, “but just because he has two young children doesn’t make him an early childhood education authority.”

For his part, Minister of Education and Training Ian Wishart says “This idea of a tech think tank applied to social innovation could be used to address other issues.”