I think I have already made it clear that there are many avenues to which the Ontario Education System can improve the learning and development of our children and youth. At the same time, however, I think that it is also important to address the fact that some issues are often not the cause of those making policy decisions. Educators and policy supporters cannot force people to have more kids; the decline in birth rates – across the country – is a staple fact.
According to statistics gathered from the World Bank, the 2014 Canadian fertility rate was 1.61 per female, while the 1960 rate was 3.81. Canada’s rate also remains lower than both the United States and Mexico. Because there are less children being born, there is evidently less children to teach in classrooms.
“So what is the issue Jillien?”
WELL, the baby boomer stage (i.e. when women were each having an average of four children) evoked a demand in schools for children to be educated. These buildings are the same spaces where children are learning today. Because there are less children to fill the chairs and empty hallways of these buildings, we run into a cost-analysis issue.
A recent article from Southern Ontario comments on how schools in the Bluewater District School Board are far from reaching their maximum capacity: “Beavercrest, with 192 pupils, is less than 40% full.”
“So what can we do about it Jillien?”
For those of you immediately wondering what in the world is this Jillien referring to, let me first clarify that “SHSM” stands for Specialist High Skills Major.
“Ah . . . yes . . . those”
The Ministry of Education implemented SHSMs as options for high school students; depending on the school that you attend and the SHSMs that the school offers, students have the opportunity to take one of these programs in order to specialize in course content of their own interests. By enrolling in a SHSM – the health and wellness SHSM for example – a student’s high school course schedule is modified to accommodate for courses and real-life experience in the health and wellness field. According to the Ministry of Education SHSM website, these programs allow students “to identify, explore and refine their career goals and make informed choices about their next steps after secondary school”.
This week I want to talk about sex. Sexual education to be specific. In the beginning of 2015, Ontario implemented revisions to the Health and Physical Education (i.e. sexual education) curriculum; such changes – as you might be aware – were not taken lightly.
Protesters against the revisions on the 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum
Let me make my own views clear: I am in full favor of the implementations made. Students should be more educated on sex, and communicating about sex should be a normalized topic of conversation in our society. The more that students are introduced to sex (i.e. sex and gender identity, sexual positions, sexual conduct, sexual misconduct, and sexual safety), the better.
To best illustrate why I have these views, I would like to respond directly to some of the implementations that people have raised concern over:
Hello! Welcome to my first blog post!
Because I am creating this blog with a focus on the conversations surrounding the politics of education – mainly the curriculum and various responses to such changes – I figured I would start with a topic known and discussed by nearly every student . . .