B.C. is restructuring its education system somewhat so young people can get skills training before they leave high school.
I think it’s a great idea, it perhaps is a bit late, why could the government have not done this sooner?
When I was growing up in Saskatchewan, in the day, they had trade training in some high schools starting at Grade 10.
Getting some trades training in high schools gives young people a head start in the work place and maybe that may mean some may stay at home.
A recent poll in B.C. asked a question relating to how the government manages B.C. education.
It showed most people thought the education system was OK, however, those in the 35-54 group that earned less than $50,000 per year and voted NDP in the last election were less than satisfied with the system.
Part of the problem with education in this province is the teacher union (BCTF) and the government.
They don’t get along very well and have not for a number of years, and this conflict between the two groups did not happen just when the Liberals were in power, but also when the NDP were government. (Can you remember that far back?)
During the current negotiations the two sides are still far apart.
The government is offering a 10-year deal with a seven-per-cent wage increase over the first six years, and increases tied to inflation in the following four years.
The teachers are seeking a 13.5-per cent raise over three years, smaller classes and more support for special-needs kids.
I think the teachers should be allowed their basic human rights to freedom of association, and to teach in our public schools without having to be a member of the B.C. Teacher’s Federation.
The BCTF has such an incredible lock on the teachers that it has destroyed any hope for desperately needed reforms in our public education system.
I understand each year the BCTF collects about $40 million in union dues, and the union uses many of those millions to fight a running battle with the government, for control of our education system.
I think that teachers are very special people and by-in-part do a good job of educating our children.
Keep up the good work.
Don’t forget the big city birthday party tomorrow.
There are many activities for all family members at the Boitanio Park starting with breakfast.
Hope to see you at some of the many fun things as we celebrate 85 years as a wonderful and fun city.
Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.