School system favours mediocrity over excellence

Basic math and language skills should be instilled through rote learning

Editor, The Record:

I see that the BCTF is running the same old PR campaign telling us how important they are in their own minds and that they are only thinking of the kids. I wonder why such campaigns would even be necessary except for the fact that many people see them as an embarrassment to the trade union movement.

Or that most taxpayers already realize that they are not getting what they’ve paid for in terms of highly educated students graduating Grade 12 with a work ethic and adequate skills in basic areas such as math and English. But I guess we do need to pay premium rates at least for the babysitting provided.

Mostly the real message of these predictable PR campaigns by the BCTF is how to market the teachers as victims. Sorry, there are real victims in our province and by in large teachers aren’t one of them. Throwing more money at the teachers isn’t going to solve the bigger issues in the educational system, which favours mediocrity over excellence.

If the teachers and their union putting themselves ahead of students wasn’t bad enough, along comes the government with this plan to overhaul the Grade 12 curriculum which will place greater emphasis on concepts over facts.

Critical thinking skills are highly important and should be taught throughout a student’s education. But without first learning facts, the students will not have ability to make informed decisions. It’s the lack of a solid education that stunts critical thinking from the get-go.

That solid education must start with rote-learning in elementary school — end of story. It’s a horrible joke on us that we have allowed this idiocy that a child can go right though their primary grades without becoming proficient in math or basic grammar. Without those basic skills drilled into their heads through rote-leaning, they aren’t ready for high school, let alone real life.

We need critical thinking in society more than ever. But such a goal isn’t going to happen unless our public schools — with or without the BCTF’s input — start acting more like private schools in their emphasis on learning. Learning critical thinking skills is the icing on the cake in turning out a well-rounded student with self-esteem earned through higher standards of achievement.

Robert T. Rock

Mission