System is broken

Resident calls for fundamental changes to the education system

In Canada, we have a number of individual human rights which are spelled out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Each province and territory in Canada administers its own education system. It is the responsibility of each parent to ensure that their children are adequately educated.

The province of B.C. obliges taxpayers to fund our education system through taxation. It thereby assumes the obligation to use those funds to educate our children in the most effective and efficient way possible.

To do this, the province uses these tax dollars to provide plants (schools) and equipment, and then hires teachers,  administrators and boards to operate the educational system.

Teachers must qualify to teach their respective grade levels in our schools consistent with an appropriate outline curriculum.  Unions have formed to replace professional teacher organizations to negotiate wages and protect teachers’ working conditions. Unfortunately, their primary interest seems to be to increase the number of teachers, their wages, and thus the total value of union dues collected, and not the quality of instruction provided by each teacher in the opinion of many.

At this time, it appears obvious that the inherent right of each student in our school system is being violated by the current policy of including students of all learning capabilities in the same classroom, whether or not there are learning assistants to help the over-stressed teachers.

To mix the brightest of our youth, who possess extraordinary learning capabilities, with students of more modest abilities, and with students who have serious behavioral problems, or with foreign students who have little or no capability with the English language (ESL), is violating the basic human rights of each of these types of students.

If the above is true, then it must be clear that the obligation of the province to provide adequate educational opportunities to these students is being violated and must be improved at the earliest possible time.

While it is nice for slow learners to be privileged to mixed with the more capable, it is not a right and so less destructive ways of achieving interaction must be devised.

Many bright students become behavioral problems if not adequately challenged in the learning process.

Those students with slower learning aptitudes must be taught with different techniques which optimize their abilities, while ESL students obviously need to be more intensively taught English along with their other subjects to justifiably benefit more optimally.

This approach sounds more like an education system to  me than the crazed maze we are now experiencing, and the turmoil with which most of our dedicated teachers are wrestling.

Yes, the education system is broken, and so, let’s fix it by concentrating our efforts.

As distasteful as some may find the concept, to achieve optimal educational opportunities for all of our students while protecting their fundamental human rights regarding educational exposure, we must implement some effective form of streaming based on ability and capability to learn.

C. Wills

Vernon