NORTEP, NDP ask for answers

NORTEP/NORPAC and the Saskatchewan NDP are pushing for answers from the provincial government, as they say delays on an important decision has left the program’s future shrouded in uncertainty.

The program allows students to complete a Bachelor of Education or Bachelor of Arts program without leaving the north.

On Monday, The Northern Teacher Education Program Council sent out a media release detailing their disappointment “that Advanced Education may not honour the selection process that had been agreed upon … to recommend a post-secondary provider.”

Last July the ruling Saskatchewan Party indicated they wouldn’t fund the NORTEP/NORPAC program as of July 31, 2017. Instead, funds for the program would be redirected to another post-secondary provider.

According to the news release, the decision about that provider was promised by January 31, 2017.

Last September the government and NORTEP formed a working committee to select the new provider. Both parties agreed NORTEP would lead the process.

Six institutions were invited to submit proposals. Of those six, Northlands College did not submit a proposal.

According to the release, the committee unanimously chose the Gabriel Dumont Institute as the “best fit.”

“The minister is on record as indicating that she would honour its recommendation and respect the NORTEP Council’s Self-determination,” the release said.

That decision has yet to be made.

During question period TuesdayAdvanced Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said the decision would be “forthcoming very soon.”

But that wasn’t NORTEP/NORPAC’s only issue.

“Moreover, recent indications suggest an even more worrisome turn of affairs…”

For more on this story, please see the March 8 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.

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