I made the following 3 suggestions to the Ontario Trillium Foundation in response to their question, “What would it take to transform economic opportunities for Ontario youth?”
1. Youth employment should match employment demand
Youth employment should provide experience in fields where demand for employees actually exists – so it is more likely to lead to job opportunities in the future.
2. Educate students and *parents* about the economy
Many parents believe that the only way for their child to succeed in life is to attend university, when in reality, unspecialized university degrees do little other than to provide entry-level employment. More promotion of college/apprenticeship programs would be useful. This should be done by grade 10 so students can plan ahead.
3. Universities should become more exclusive
Ontario has flooded the job market with too many young people with generic arts and science degrees. The employment demand for these people is very low and outlook is poor. Universities need to act less like for-profit corporations and more like facilities of education. Reduce the number of undergraduate spaces in generic programs, and kick out students who don’t take their education seriously. Maybe then a university degree could mean something again.
As any Canadian, I took French in school for 10 or 11 years. I remember it being really tough to learn all the verb tenses. They talked about past participle, future progressive, past perfect, etc. What probably made this tough is that I didn’t know those terms for English verbs. I obviously knew the meanings of “flown”, “will be flying” and “had flown”, but until I taught ESL, I couldn’t have matched the terms to the tenses. I think I might have been a bad English student… maybe a bad French student too.
It was even hard to explain the general meaning of tenses. Explaining “will fly” vs. “will be flying” vs. “will have flown” vs. “will have been flying” was a huge challenge. I had to give it serious thought to generalize what time a tense refers to. Try it yourself, I dare you.
Let’s go for a fly!
How does the Toronto Catholic District School Board still exist? After all this corruption among the trustees, and the ridiculous and unfair concept of one religion getting a publicly-funded school board while others do not, why doesn’t the world’s most multicultural city just assimilate the two public boards into one? Score one for diversity, by exposing more students to various backgrounds and religions. Score another for added efficiency, because having more schools means more students will live closer to a school they can go to, and resources can be distributed as necessary.
It would probably be wise to grandfather everyone, so students continue the program in their current school, but going to a new school means changing programs. After a few years, the system will be assimilated and the kinks mostly resolved.
Some people would be outraged, but most of these people would be Christians/Catholics, who should at least accept that they’ve been getting a lucrative deal this whole time. You can get a religious education at church. There is no other significant difference except the racial backgrounds of these schools. So if you’re saying the Catholic publicly-funded board is better than the secular one, it almost amounts to saying “You get a better education when you’re in school with all white Catholic kids.” I don’t think they have a leg to stand on, do they?
The private schools would probably get some questionably race-motivated enrolments. That’s all good, you can get any education you want if you’re willing to pay for it. But the Catholic school board should not continue to receive public funding.
As for the trustees… I guess they thought they were created in god’s image?
Link: National Post
EDIT: Later read an article about how some people put their kids in French Immersion programs for similar superficial reasons.
Also, this post is not anti-religion, rather, in support of fairness amongst religions and creating more diverse schools.