Education Action & Strike Call Are Reasons to Look @ the Future of Education in Ontario. By Jamie Gilcig 100519 #ONPOLI

Education Action & Strike Call Are Reasons to Look @ the Future of Education in Ontario.  By Jamie Gilcig 100519 #ONPOLI

This writer was shocked this week and it takes a lot to shock someone as jaded as myself.

Number 7. Do not administer medication? Really? Social media was littered with reports of children being forced to eat lunch at their desks with some allegations of them having to sit on the hall floors and eat.

In 2019 we are at a cross roads when it comes to education in Ontario.

While blaring headlines allege that the Ford government wants to cut 10,000 teaching jobs nobody can argue that there have been declining student enrollment numbers across the province. This just isn’t an issue on bodunkville.

Likewise, Liberal governments for over a decade have been selling their souls to stay in power. This has led to rampant escalation in the costs of teachers in this province and their bloc voting power.

And that’s fair dinkum. Teachers and their unions have every right to fight to better their lot, but at a certain point, as we’re also seeing in healthcare, it gets to the point that even the public purse has its limits and because of the gutless and unaccountable political system we have, this has led to unsustainable education & healthcare costs, and even worse, declining results.

For those of you that have comprehension issues it means that we’re paying more for kids to be educated less. That’s scary and we’re seeing the results of decades of this slippery slope as government after government has spent money on staff rather than on…education. Each raise, each demand, each threat has meant a little piece less for the kidlets.

And now, when faced with a government that’s standing up against the tide; they are in fact seeming to attack the very children their future depends on.

Big Unions and the education system has been fighting Doug Ford since his nomination. Heck, our Prime Minister, in this Federal election, seems to spend more time mentioning Ontario’s Premier than his own feeble opponent, Andrew Sheer.

The big question looking forward is whether our schools are meant to be big daycare centres or halls of education? Can they be both? The status quo results appear to show that the system is broken, and that they can’t.

The integration of “special needs” kids into classes has failed and been a big factor in overall numbers declining and school boards on occasion issuing flak jackets to school teachers! That’s insane. Don’t take my word for it. The CBC did a magnificent piece on how some teachers are having to deal with the insanity that is far too many of our classrooms. You can listen to the podcast here.

Kids need to be supported across the spectrum.

We simply have to look to higher education and see where education is moving. That’s online. The cost of sending a student to school in Ontario is off the charts. Yet more parents are now homeschooling because of all too similar stories; of young kids being concussed and beaten in schools by other students while staff and management appear to not be willing to help.

With less activities available in many schools what exactly are we doing and why?

While I totally get that if you’re a teacher you and your union will fight for your jobs; if we do have 10,000 surplus teachers isn’t that an utter waste of resources that should be focused on educating our children?

We need a transitional plan or we will see big layoffs and drastic results.

Kids are being passed without basic skills. By teaching online there are tools to expand education and make sure kids pass their courses. By giving Ontario parents choices and expanding support for daycare, education and the economy can improve.

Kids need support. They need to learn. Parents need to work to be able to provide for their families. These are two separate needs that the government needs to focus on; but it also needs to make fiscal sense.

Online classes can be taught by one teacher to thousands of kids at the same time. They can be live. They can be done via computer without a live teacher. They can be done throughout the year rather than shut schools down during the Summer when there are no snow days rather than not taking a break during Winter when we seem to have snow days if a cool breeze brushes by.

We need to update the act regarding homeschooling so that it’s actually accountable.

We need more accountability from our education system which we don’t seem to have in Ontario. We need a plan to transition to the future. We need to focus resources where they should be; on the students, and not on political machinations.

We need to build a better future and better Ontario.

j

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Pete Walbee
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Pete Walbee

I can see many parents (voters ) in Ontario not voting Conservative because of Ford as these parents scramble to find sitters or costly daycares for their children. Ford will cost Andrew Scheer this election. As a grandparent who’s daughters will either have to stay home or pay for expensive sitters will not vote Conservative because of Doug Ford. Worst time for a strike, but it’s how it goes.