Thursday, May 25, 2000

Straight thoughts 30

May 25, 2000

Once more Mike Harris is 'getting tough' with school teachers. This time Ontario's Education minister Janet Ecker wants (among other things) to require them to teach 'after school activities' which up to now were voluntary.

This goes against the following conservative ideas:

1. The idea that primary education should concentrate on basic skills and do those well.
2. The concept of free initiative, where each schools would create a stimulating work environment for teachers, so that they in turn would create a stimulating education environment for students.
3. The idea of voluntarism, where teachers, like parents feel morally obligated, not forced, to help children with after school activities.
4. The notion that decisions about education must be taken by parents, who delegate some of them to teachers, and should NOT be taken by a centralized government.

The Family Coalition Party suggests a "Parental Choice" system, where parents would direct their education vouchers to a school of their choice, teachers would work, earn and cooperate with parents according to their skills and ambition.

Free enterprise (demand of good teachers among public, private and independent schools) is what will drive schools, teachers and students to excellence. Not government-imposed regulations.