Province should be an education leader

B.C. must work to maintain its position as a leader on the world stage

Premier Christy Clark’s first throne speech promised money for B.C.’s education system, but the province must do a whole lot more to ensure the next generation of British Columbians won’t be at a disadvantage on the world stage.

Times are changing at breakneck speed and new skills and forms of literacy are quickly superseding traditions that have been ingrained in our classrooms for decades.

The real trouble is many of these changes — the role of technology and need for independent learning, for example — do not seem to be any part of the laborious labour discussions ongoing between teachers and the provincial government.

If we’re not careful, we will lose an opportunity to take advantage of our current strengths as a stable, progressive corner of the planet.

There is no easy answer.

Taxpayers can’t afford to hand a brand new iPad to every student enrolled in the school system.

But neither can we ignore the need to incorporate new technology when it can clearly assist and perhaps even improve the education system and make it more efficient, nor continue injecting more and more money into the existing system.

Teachers know classrooms of 2011 are not the same as they were 10 years ago, never mind when the current template was established.

It’s time for the province to do more than merely patch holes in the system.

We need to look at what the best educators in the province and around the world are doing and find a way to improve the experience for all students.

Doing so can only help the long-term fortunes of everyone in B.C. and ensure we maintain our position as a leader on the world stage.

– Victoria News