Please feel free to follow this link and read up on the debate about bringing the oil and gas companies in to help develop our children’s school curriculum in Alberta.
I myself, live in Alberta, have a long time career in the Energy Industry and have 2 young boys currently attending elementary school. So I feel I am in a position to give an honest and educated opinion on this topic. And personally, I don’t like this.
I think that school should prepare our children for “Their Future”, not for the future of the industry. I’ve lived, worked, and walked the halls of the Northern corporate camps, there’s propaganda all over the place. Posters, big, bright, flat panel televisions displaying the companies latest success’s littered throughout the halls. Once we let the corporations in the school system, what’s to stop them from working the same magic there? What would you think, if one day you went to pick up your child from Kindergarten and you found them playing with blocks painted with corporate logo’s? Or a suit and tie guy in the playground, grading your little bundle of joy on their operation of a Power Wheels dump truck? How precious is that?
I have this thought that just keeps pulling at me, over and over again. Why, in this province paved with gold, does our school curriculum suck so bad? Where are all the tax dollars going? Anyone who has a friend or family member working in the high paying Energy industry, ask what that person paid in taxes last year. Then go visit any one of the Oilsand plants and do the rough math. Our elementary schools should be operating at a ratio of five students for every teacher.
How about this idea? Instead of asking the Energy Industry to instruct us on how to properly educate our children. We instead, get a consultant from one of the other highly educated countries that are out performing our youth, and get them to assist us in developing a curriculum that is not aimed directly at the energy industry. Let our children decide what their true passions are. Honestly, finding where they excel in life and letting them follow a path that truly interests them is the best opportunity we can give them to complete success.
There’s so many issue’s with our school system that we should focus on, to bring the standard up. Reduce the teacher – student ratio to start. Let’s focus more on what each child’s interests and strengths are, so when they hit a certain age of maturity, we can quit trying to teach them things that they have “zero” interest in. I believe Australia follows this plan to some extent. I can’t think of a bigger waste of resources than trying to teach my son any more math? Some kids enjoy math, and they advance at it, so put them in class with the other math loving children, where they will have a better learning experience, as opposed to getting hit with spit balls from non-math oriented children. Quit telling me the province doesn’t have the money, I’m not buying that excuse anymore…The Alberta government is crooked or dysfunctional…obviously both? This is a reality we’re forced to accept.
I have no problem educating our children on the Energy industry. I’ll even put in extra cash to arrange a class Oilsand tour. But show them all of it. Not just the clean guy sitting in his chair, playing on his phone. Show them the truck drivers, the mechanics, the pipefitters, working in -40, covered in head to toe in grime and chemicals. There’s no better motivation for staying in school.
When I was a kid, I dreamt of being a racecar driver, a pilot, Indiana Jones and Darth Vader. The sad reality hit me when I finished high school, that none of these jobs paid enough to keep me up with the Alberta Standard.
That’s it. That’s why I joined, not very passionate, definitely a story lacking romance. But ask around, I am only one of a very large number, who share the same story. It’s a number that increases every second in these parts, and my children as well as yours, are about to step up to that fork of decision.
Here’s how I would like my kids to be taught. Get them out of their desks, turn off all the electronics and take them outside. There is so much to learn from the world around us, in day-to-day life. Show them how some of the things they are trying to teach them in school, actually apply in real life. Teach them that a healthy body, mind and spirit are their most precious assets in life…Not oil.
But the number one, most important thing, I want you to teach my sons.
Teach them that it’s possible to live a very healthy and very happy life while working less than a 12 hour day and making less than 6 figures.
Then maybe someday, they can teach me.