Election Questions on Education

If we are going to have economic growth and development then we have to address the critical area of education. You will not be able to have sustained job creation if the people are not properly trained to fill the available positions. Accordingly we have to ask some difficult questions of our politicians in order to understand how they see the role of education in shaping and developing our economy.

Our first question is – “What changes are you prepared to make to the education system in order to make it more relevant to today’s working environment?” We can not be happy with a system of schooling that does not teach our children to read by grade 4. The syllabus for our young children is too wide and we need to return the focus to the three ‘R’s. In other words more emphasis needs to be placed on reading, writing and arithmetic. Once our students can read then other subject areas such as history, geography and sciences can be added. If our students do not know how to read then they can not be expected to perform in other subject areas which require this basic skill.

In addition we want to ask – “Is the party that wins power prepared to insist that schools set homework according to the capabilities of the students?” I have spoken to too many parents who have related the story of having to do their child’s home work because the assignment that is set is too advanced for the child. Projects given to pupils should be at a level where the student can manage with a little assistance from the parents not with a little assistance from the child.

We also would like to ask – “Will you insist that minimum academic standards be in place for those students participating in sports?” Children need to know that they need education to back up their sporting talents. They need to be able to read and understand the terms of contracts that they sign and they certainly need to know how to properly manage the income that they will earn during their time of participation in sports. One clear solution is to insist that schools ensure that home work is done prior to after school sports practice. Too often children are too tired to do their home work after playing for a couple of hours after school.

Lastly we ask the question - “Will you provide more technology to the schools in order to aid the learning process?” Computers with suitable teaching software can fill the gap created by insufficient teachers. In addition access to the internet can supply the information that does not exist in our woefully inadequate school libraries and at a cost that all can afford.

There are many other questions that could be asked about education; let us take the time to ensure that we ask them now before it is too late.

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admin Posted by: admin December 15, 2011 at 7:00 am