Investments in Community Health Links and Technology in Classrooms: Ontario is investing more than $150 million over three years in technology and learning with such tools as new digital tablets, netbooks, cameras, software and professional development for teachers. This fund will speed up the way in which students learn and prepare them for good jobs in the global economy.
Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement while speaking with local community members at the Columbus Centre in Toronto. Premier Wynne also discussed the significant progress the government has made over the past 10 years in health care and education and outlined the government’s plan and next steps to support high-quality public services for all Ontarians.
Highlights from the speech include:
- An expanded view of student success that will continue to focus on reading, writing and math, while adding a greater emphasis on other skills, including critical and creative thinking, innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship.
- The Premier’s commitment to improved collective bargaining in the education sector through legislation that enshrines respectful relationships among all partners and will help ensure students continue to learn in one of the top-performing jurisdictions in the world.
- Encouraging schools and their local partners to make schools hubs where residents can meet to participate in a range of activities and access services to support their health and well-being.
- Ontario’s health care system will continue with its transformation agenda that places patient care at the centre, delivering the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
- Fifty-four community Health Links are in place across the province, helping seniors and patients with multiple and complex needs by allowing their different health care providers to co-ordinate care. This will reduce hospital re-admissions and unnecessary trips to emergency rooms.
- Since 25 per cent of health care costs associated with chronic diseases are due to preventable risk factors, the province will continue to focus on wellness and prevention to encourage Ontarians to stay healthy, so they can stay out of hospital and have a higher quality of life.
Delivering excellence in health care and education is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.
- Today, 83 per cent of students are graduating from high school, up from 68 per cent in 2004.
- Ontario’s schools and teachers are deeply engaged in innovation on the use of mobile technologies, cloud-based learning and development of curriculum-linked resources and tools such as videos, apps and technology-enabled, project-based learning by students.
- 71 per cent of children in grades 3 and 6 are achieving the high provincial standards in reading, writing and math – up from 54 per cent in 2003.
- Ontario students continue to perform above the OECD average in every category in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment test.
- Ontario has the highest post-secondary education attainment rate (64 per cent) among all OECD countries.
- Studies have shown that 75 per cent of seniors with complex needs who spent time in the hospital received care from as many as six different doctors.
- Ontario has the some of the shortest surgical wait times in the Canada. The wait time for hip replacement surgery is down by 44%; the wait time for knee replacement surgery is down by 52%. The days of waiting saved since 2005 would cover 6,000 lifetimes.
- Ontario spends the least per capita on programs and services of any Canadian province.
Office of the Premier, April 7, 2014