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Learning about Planning and Policy at the Ministry of Education

Sonali Maria Currie, MPA student, is currently an executive intern in the Strategic Policy and Planning Branch of the Ministry of Education, Government of Saskatchewan.

My name is Sonali Maria Currie, and I am a Master of Public Administration student at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy’s University of Regina campus. I am presently an Executive Intern in the Strategic Policy and Planning (SPP) branch of the Ministry of Education, Government of Saskatchewan. My mentors are Heather Balfour, Director, Strategic Planning and Reporting Unit and Anne-Marie Chevalier, Director, Strategic Policy Unit.

The SPP branch is responsible for developing plans, policies, strategies and reports for the provincial education sector in alignment with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan 2020-2030.

The duration of my eight-month internship is divided between the Strategic Planning and Reporting Unit (PRU) for the first four months and the remaining with the Strategic Policy Unit (SPU).

In the PRU, I was responsible for reviewing and providing feedback on draft annual reports submitted by 27 school divisions in the province for tabling at the Saskatchewan Legislature. While conducting my review, I also scanned the documents for alignment with the Inspiring Success: First Nations and Métis PreK-12 Education Policy Framework. In addition to this work, I participated in discussions related to the new provincial education plan, and was fortunate to take part in the 4 Season of Reconciliation training program. Lastly, I collaborated with the PRU’s communications team to present to all staff members regarding the value and benefit of using SharePoint for work purposes.

Now that I’ve shifted to the SPU unit, I am currently supporting policy advisors to develop a province-wide online learning plan. This work involves engaging with education sector organizations to gain a deeper understanding of issues related to the access and delivery of online learning.

Being an international student, the internship has provided me the opportunity to observe and participate in Canadian public policymaking processes within a provincial context. As executive interns, students get to learn and contribute to analytical and planning in the public sector as well as build a network of supportive professionals.

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