- Published on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 06:51
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 1656
Schools in Canada are operated at a Municipal level. Each school has a school board – and in Ontario, we have 2 school boards – one public and one Catholic. The inefficiencies are significant and there can easily be differences in quality from one school to the next. But in the end, children graduate and they all either go to work in the same workplaces or they go to the same colleges and universities. Do the Catholic school boards think that they have sufficiently brainwashed the kids so they can be let loose? Or is it just too expensive to keep going?
But even if we keep separate schools for Catholics, there are inefficiencies and inequities caused by using many school boards. One thing that could be done fairly easily to make sure that all children get a quality education, would be to have a curriculum written on a national level. Local schools and Catholic schools could add courses that would reflect their preferences but surely the basics – in fact the majority of subjects - are the same across the country. Math does not vary from Victoria to Halifax; neither does English, Physics, Chemistry, Phys Ed, History, World geography nor most other subjects. And a National Curriculum could ensure that all Canadians have the same values. After all, we are a single country united hopefully by common values. So why do we not have 85% of the curriculum defined on a national level and across all schools, religious or not?
In Australia, schools are operated at a State level – not Municipal – but they are now planning a National Curriculum and guess what, it will be secular. The current prime Minister Ms Gillard (right) - an atheist - said Australia needed a curriculum which gave children the freedom to choose and reflect on their own values. She went on to say: "We live in a democracy which values free conscience and free thinking," she said. "That's the kind of education I want for Australian children and that's the kind of education the national curriculum is aimed at."
While the Australian draft national curriculum does not specifically mention the Bible, it does set out the teaching of culture as a "complex system of concepts, values, norms, beliefs and practices" and the "impact of beliefs and values" on society over human history.
I wonder if we would see such sanity anytime soon in Canada?