A Provincial General Election has been called for May 4, 2015 and home and school members – parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff – have an important role to place in engaging candidates in discussions about public education.
The PEI Home and School Federation will hold a Leaders Debate on Education on Saturday, April 11, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Victorian Room at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, 75 Kent Street, Charlottetown. The leaders of the Green, Liberal, NDP and PC parties have confirmed their attendance.
The debate, part of our Annual General Meeting, will provide members with an opportunity to question the leaders on matters related to the public education system.
Member home and school associations are encouraged to spread the word about the debate in their local school communities, and to encourage parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff to register for the Annual Meeting to have the opportunity both to develop the questions (in the morning) and hear the answers from the leaders (in the afternoon). Members of the general public are also invited to attend the debate; seating will be limited. A printable flyer is available.
The debate will be videotaped and made available online after the fact.
Moderator and Debate Questions
The debate will be moderated by Marion Murphy, respected former teacher, former MLA, and former P.E.I. Home and School Federation President.
Questions will be developed collaboratively by delegates to the Annual Meeting during a morning small-group discussions session.
We will use a debate format adapted from that used successfully for many years by the League of Women Voters in the USA, with the following ground rules:
1. Leaders will be seated alphabetically (by last name) at a head table. Each leader will have an individual microphone, will have a name placard identifying their name and party affiliation, and will be supplied with drinking water.
2. The moderator will be seated in front of and facing the leaders. The moderator will be assisted by a time-keeper, seated beside them.
3. The moderator's role will be to ensure the time allotted to each opening and closing statement and each question answered is adhered to, and to keep general order in the meeting.
4. Each leader will make a 2-minute opening statement. The order of speaking will be determined by random drawing just before the debate begins.
5. Following the opening statements, the moderator will read each question. Each leader will be allowed a 1 minute response to each question. We expect there to be time for approximately 10 questions.
6. The order of answering questions will follow the alphabetical seating order; the first leader to answer will be rotated through the seating order for each successive question.
7. Each leader will make a 2 minute closing statement. The order of speaking will be the reverse of the order of opening statements.
8. There will be no literature, party or candidate signage, or hand-outs in the debate hall, but a table will be provided in the lobby for leaders use.