WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell, left, and assistant superintendent Mark McWhinnie speak to students during a visit to one of the schools that will be part of the exchange agreement. Image: WCPS

Student and cultural exchange signed by WCPS with region in China

Liwan students slated to be in Canada first this summer, WCPS students head over next spring

In what can be described as a milestone for Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS), the central Alberta school division earlier this month signed its first ever exchange agreement with a school district in China.

WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell — along with assistant superintendent Mark McWhinnie and learning services director Sean Lougheed — travelled to Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong, China last month to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that establishes a cooperative exchange between WCPS and the Liwan Bureau of Education.

Being called ‘One Belt, One Road Education Initiative’, the agreement was signed March 19. It builds a pathway for educational and cultural exchanges that began back when WCPS was approached last December.

“It was amazing experience for us, very exciting in terms of a brand new initiative and opportunity for our students and staff and I think for our communities as well,” Lovell said.

“We live in a very global world, where our student understanding is not simply confined to their communities, province or county. So, as a district, we feel an obligation to help expand those opportunities.”

Exchanges will last a couple of weeks, with the first group of Chinese students — between 20 or 30 — set to arrive in July. A second group from China will visit in late September with the first group from WCPS heading over next March.

Three sister schools in Liwan have been paired with Lacombe Composite and Blackfalds Iron Ridge Junior initially, with further WCPS schools to be added as the opportunities arise.

WCPS was the only non-B.C. school division in the contingent that went to China to sign agreements, while also touring 11 schools in the region.

The motivation and interest shown by the Guangzhou schools and school districts to be engaged in these exchanges is one of the exciting things for WCPS, according to Lovell.

“They really want their students to seek different experiences and opportunities outside of China and Canada is a very credible, desirable location,” he stated.

“They see Canada as a country of opportunity, one that is open and that embraces diversity. They also know a lot about Canada and that is one thing that really surprised us.”

Another interesting note Lovell stated was a few of the differences between how the schools operate — with normal class sizes between 40 and 50 students, who all live at the schools, while there is more teacher-directed instruction rather than collaboration that is done in Canada.

“They are also very focused on the future and what this opportunity may do for the students and, ultimately, for their country.”

 

WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell, right, signs a copy of the MOU alongside a representative of the Liwan Bureau of Education during the formal signing ceremony on March 19 during the WCPS visit to China. Image: WCPS

Just Posted

Naked man arrested for impaired driving

The man allegedly fled the scene of a collision wearing only a sheet. Plus other Ponoka RCMP briefs

Ponoka Legion commemorates 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Ponoka residents pack Legion hall during Remembrance Day

Ponoka Secondary Campus alumni provides example of how to remember those who were lost

School’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony focuses on 100th anniversary of WWI armistace

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

City of Wetaskiwin didn’t apply utility hikes to bills

Clerical financial error discovered by Wetaskiwin city council

Most Read