Paul Marai is a candidate for Halton Catholic District School Board Trustee in the 2010 Oakville Municipal Elections.
Oakville.com: What are the platform issues that you are addressing?
Paul Marai: Throughout this election I have listened to the concerns of Oakville residents. I am committed to five priorities:
1. Better Communication
For a school board to meet the needs of the families it serves, there must be two way communication. I am committed to making it easier for students, parents, and community partners to communicate their ideas and concerns with the school board. We must introduce new ways other than direct telephone to keep the conversation open.
Are you still receiving paper notes from your school that get lost in your child’s backpack? There needs to be a board wide initiative to move to email based communication with parents. It is not only cost effective but environmentally friendly.
You should also be directly connected to your elected school board representative at all times. You will always have my direct cell number, blackberry email address and an updated website that lets you know what is going on in your school system.
2. Technology in the Classroom:
Other jurisdictions in the world are utilizing technology in the classroom far better than we are. We must ensure that our children have the most advanced technology resources to compete in a global economy. This means increasing the usage of smart boards and collaborative technologies to heighten the learning experience.
It is integral that we also look at the viability of introducing technology to cut down on textbook and administrative fees that cost the system millions per year.
3. A Responsible-Transparent School Board Budget
The School Board must go through the budget line by line to look at ways of cutting unnecessary administrative costs in order to put more money directly into schools for new computers, books and enrichment activities. Paul believes that you should get value for your education tax dollar.
Furthermore, you should receive a direct report that explains line by line what your money is going to in your school system.
4. Improved Test Scores:
Standardized tests are not always the best way to understand a student’s ability. However, currently they’re the best way to compare how our students are doing to other students in other jurisdictions. Currently, the Halton Catholic Schools in Oakville are stagnant in their rankings, as seen in the Frasier Institute School Report Card. We must target mathematics and literacy scores to ensure our students rank higher in the province.
5. Financial Literacy:
Money matters. Teaching our children how to manage and save money from an early age is key to raising successful and independent adults. The current provincial government is introducing financial literacy in the curriculum. It is important that the school board integrates this into already existing programs so students gain the most from it.
Oakville.com: What is your unique position in this election
Paul Marai: I think what really separates me from the other candidates is my commitment to consulting with constituents on issues that are important to them and communicating what is being done at the board level. Trustees need to stay in constant contact with the people who they represent.
Furthermore, I have heard at the doors that people want some new blood and young energy at the board. I am 21 years old. I have experience going through the system, a Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto and I am passionate about education policy.
Oakville.com: What do voters need to know that will compel them to vote for YOU?
Paul Marai: I was born and raised in Oakville and have been an active member of the community for years. I am one of the only candidates to have actually graduated from the Halton Catholic School System.
My involvement in the Community has included being a:
Reader at Mary Mother of God Parish
Representative on the Trafalgar Community Policing Committee
Member of The Holy Trinity Catholic School Council
Member of The Oakville Spirit Awards Committee
Vice-Chair of The Halton Youth Advisory Committee
Representative on the Halton Catholic School Board Student Senate
Chair of the Oakville Youth Advisory Committee
The 2010 Oakville Municipal election will be held on October 25, 2010. Visit our special Oakville election 2010 section for the latest election news, candidate profiles and more.