Column: Back to school

If there is a single tangible gift that one generation can pass to another — it would be an education.

If there is a single tangible gift that one generation can pass to another — it would be an education.

B.C. has a world-class education system and our students consistently rank among the best in the world.

I am proud of B.C.’s education system, but part of maintaining a great system is finding ways to improve it. That means finding new, innovative approaches that lead to better results for students.

It all starts with our youngest children. Our government supports a variety of early-learning initiatives to ensure our youngest learners have every opportunity to achieve their best. Additionally, we have opportunities for adult learners who want to upgrade their courses at institutions such as at the College of New Caledonia, or take a trade and industry program, for example.

In rural areas such as Cariboo North, our natural resource sector is the reason we have such a high demand for trade opportunities. By continuing to work together, we will ensure British Columbians have access to the training they need to get high-paying, family-supporting jobs and participate in our strong, growing and diverse economy.

One of the other exciting things post-secondary students can be excited about, is B.C. is expanding our free online textbooks through BC Campus, which means more money in students’ pockets. Currently there are 98 open textbooks available online. By Sept. 30, there is expected to be 144 books available. By the end of fall, there will be 150 books in the collection — which will include 53 in skills and trades.

However, no education system can be successful without high-quality administrators and teachers — and in B.C. we are fortunate to have the best of both.

Our government is committed to creating a better future for all British Columbians. Part of this is making sure students and families are informed and supported in making the right decisions for a secure, prosperous future.

I would like to wish all those working towards a new career or are going back to school — the best of luck in their future endeavors. I hope you take the time to evaluate the many options that there are out there and feel free to visit:

The future is yours to discover.

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and the Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

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