EDITORIAL: Students still learning stuff they won’t use

EDITORIAL: Students still learning stuff they won’t use

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By Lyonel Doherty

Oliver Chronicle

School districts are changing under the so-called “new curriculum” in B.C.

Soon we may see no more letter grades on report cards, just comments.

For some of us old school parents, we like letter grades to tell us how our kids are doing in class. But it seems these letter grades and percentages are too heavy for some students whose confidence and self-worth may suffer as a result.

Anxiety among children is a big problem today, more so than yesteryear when they were basically told to suck it up. But are we going overboard in treating our students with “kid” gloves? Teach them how to be more resilient.

Speaking of education, students are still being subjected to rote learning by trying to memorize everything before a test and then forgetting most of the content two weeks later. This style of learning is supposed to change but it’s taking too long. Even us old fashioned parents were subjected to this teaching method and boards of education are still relying on it.

And another thing: get rid of Shakespeare. It causes way too much stress and it is as valuable to students as yesterday’s candy wrapper.

There’s just too much of teaching students what they will rarely use. Stick to the basics. If they want to specialize after high school, then they can take advanced math. Many graduates still don’t know how to do a budget or give proper change back. Or they ask who the president of Canada is or how they can get rid of Donald Trump.

Too bad schools didn’t put as much effort into discipline as they do academics.

Recently my daughter was given a one-day, out-of-school suspension for spitting water on another girl. She said peer pressure made her do it. Anyway, we got a call from the principal who said my daughter refused to take responsibility for her actions and lied about her role in the bullying incident. The consequence was a one-day suspension at home doing nothing. That wasn’t a consequence but a reward. She should have been made to help the janitor clean the bathrooms for a week. We took her iPod away and made her write letters of apology to the girl and the principal.

I know schools are trying, but education needs to be more engaging for students. Both my daughters say they hate school. One of them keeps asking to be home schooled but we don’t have the money for that, and I could never be a teacher. One week as an educator and I’d probably end up in the Okanagan Correctional Centre trying to grow veggies.

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