NEWS RELEASE · 18th September 2011
Listen to MLA and Education Critic Robin Austin describe this waste of money to the Terrace Daily by opening the attached audio file below.
A consultant's report showing that the $100 million student data collection program brought in by then-education minister Christy Clark is inadequate, overpriced and needs to be replaced, is more evidence of B.C. Liberal mismanagement, says Adrian Dix and the New Democrats.
The program, called BCeSIS, is supposed to collect data on all the students in British Columbia’s education system. It costs school districts at least $10 per student per year, and has been plagued by crashes during periods of peak use. The Liberal government commissioned a report into whether or not to keep the beleaguered system or scrap it altogether. The report, which emerged this week, recommends that the program be scrapped.
“This program was brought in by Christy Clark as education minister and has been draining millions of dollars a year out of an already cash-strapped school system. It is so poorly designed that there are crashes and login queues at registration and report card time,” said Austin. “The Liberal government needs to stop hiding from this mess, and tell taxpayers the truth about whether or not they actually did due diligence before tossing almost $100 million down the drain, at a time when school districts are struggling to pay for basic services."
Austin sent a letter to Education Minister George Abbott requesting a copy of the BCeSiS report as soon as it was available. Instead, the Liberal government quietly posted the report on the ministry website, without alerting the public. The report says that “As currently deployed, BCeSIS is not meeting the business, technical or operational needs of B.C. and is not a viable future alternative”.
“At a time when districts across the province are being forced to slash supports for special needs students, are eliminating teacher-librarians and failing to keep up with demand for ESL services, the public deserves to know why the Liberal government poured millions of dollars into a black hole for a computer program that needs to be scrapped,” said Austin. "They also deserve to know why the Liberal government is trying to hide from the issue by quietly burying the report on the ministry website."
Comment by Dave on 19th September 2011
Besides the money down the drain - (was it one of their "friends" who got the contract), how much valuable school staff time has been wasted over the years that could have been put to better use?
We already knew this!
Comment by toots500 on 18th September 2011
And why did they need to spend even more money on a special commission to tell them what teachers and secretaries have been saying for the past 5 years?