Nunatsiaq Online
LETTERS: Nunavut December 17, 2012 - 1:31 pm

Get rid of social promotion, Mad Mom says

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Mad Mom here — everyone knows you don’t mess with a mad mother!

What am I mad about, you may ask?

Well, I have spent a lot of time lately with young people. They can barely speak and make a sentence or spell or write anything.

I have become convinced this is because of the sham called “social promotion.”

These poor kids were in the top end of high school, not in Grade 6 or Grade 7. To listen to them talk to each other was painful and to talk with them, as an adult, was even more shocking.

They told me that they were not good at Inuktitut, so it left me wondering just what they were good at.

I was ashamed that my tax dollars are funding a school system that cannot turn out a kid who could be ready to work in an office, answer a simple telephone, or type a sentence correctly.

It left me wondering how these schools, which cost millions and these teachers, who cost millions, are not able to guarantee they can turn out literate young people.

Why doesn’t the Department of Education stop the denial and bafflement and admit that they keep pushing these kids upwards and do not have the resources to oversee these so-called continuous learning individualized plans these kids are on?

Sadly, they should be truthful and admit their current system is simply like weighing each student, measuring their height, noting their birth year and just shoving them up to the next grade.

Where else in the world does this happen? Even in the Third World developing countries, they are smart enough to figure out the need for a challenging, high-standard education and they will send their students all over the world to get it, after they have graduated from high school at the proper, required knowledge level.

Did the people of Nunavut say this? “Oh please, give us a second class education, where we are never allowed to fail, where we kid ourselves that we are doing real work in school like everybody else has to? Please help us lose?”

Who on earth is in the department who continually thinks the parents and the DEAs are wrong in what they are saying?

In fact, the DEAs are clearly showing that Nunavummiut are getting far ahead of their own government, wanting education to change course, approach and philosophy.

The bureaucrats within the Department of Education are out of step with the people, who realize the joke is on them and their kids.

Years ago, people wanted religion in their schools and all sorts of northern things that they now realize took away very important time from teaching the curriculum.

So they don’t want that any more.

Those who expect that schools should teach everything about being Inuit are also now being challenged by Inuit who realize that this is the job of parents. Go make a qamutik and juggle and sing about it at home.

Sit down and learn to read, write and learn math and science in school and that will mean you’ve received a real education, as good as anyone else’s in Canada.

I know people with historical and personal hang-ups want to put too much northern stuff in the curriculum and ironically, employ many contract writers down south to do so, but none of that will lead to passing Grade 12 exams.

Come on parents, don’t sit quietly, as your kid knows deep down inside that they are being pushed upward, even though they can’t handle the work at their present grade level.

Demand your child not be passed, but kept in that same grade until they can work their way out of it, by knowing the subjects and passing them.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the residential school students from Chesterfield Inlet and many of the Anglican-run schools received a first class education, just like people in southern Canada. They had to study, work hard every day and pass everything or they did not move up to the next grade.

Their fine education shows. Yet, instead of having a lot of find understudies coming out of the day schools after them, all they see are students with less ability than themselves.

This situation will never help Nunavut and I am mad about that!

(Name withheld by request)
Iqaluit



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