Opinion

AT RANDOM: Back to school?

It’s hard to imagine, but there are just over two short weeks left of summer.

At least that’s what many B.C. parents, and students, are hoping for.

While summer is full of sun and fun, the start of school is an important part in every child’s life (and a much-needed break for parents and grandparents).

But if the B.C. Teachers Federation and the government can’t get their act together, summer vacation just might be extended.

Surely there are some kids thrilled at the thought, and there are some parents who are looking forward to the extra $40 per child per day that the government says we will get if school doesn’t start Sept. 2.

But there are a whole bunch of us who are downright sick of this and no amount of money can compare to a child’s education.

The two sides need to put all reservations aside and come to some sort of agreement. Because as we all know, education is a vital part of a child’s life, in so many ways.

I, for one, say give the teachers a raise and give them the resources they need, because our children are relying on it.

But I also understand that there are only so many dollars to give. So if the government can be open and honest and give the highest number it can afford without having to cut any other vital services, then the teachers need to accept that.

This has gone on far too long and disrupted too many lives to continue any further.

How can students, and parents, and all others affected, be expected to continue to be victim to this strike any longer?

If the teachers do not go back to work, I don’t see how the community is supposed to cope with all these additional kids out of school.

The summer is one thing, there are camps and grandparents which help essentially babysit kids while parents are at work. But come September, the pool of camps dry up (especially the all-day ones that working parents need).

Therefore we, and that includes teachers and politicians, are all waiting anxiously to find out if school will start on schedule.

According to the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, if no deal is reached by Monday, Aug. 25, then school will not start on time.

CBC reports president Nicole Makohoniuk saying: “The way I look at it, if there’s not a resolution in the next two weeks, school will not begin in the beginning of September because principals and teachers will not have had a chance to build those class lists and work together and even get prepared to teach.”

And she’s right, but if Aug. 25 rolls around and there is still no resolution, then the rest of us are left scrambling. There will be a mad rush to get kids enrolled in any day programs that might be offered or gain the assistance of grandparents, friends and neighbours.

It’s a scary thought for most of us who aren’t sure if we should be shopping for school supplies or saving up for a full-time babysitter.

And with a little one who is about to enter her very first year of school, this is ruining what should be an exciting moment in my and my child’s life.

She won’t ever get those lost days of school back, they are priceless (and indeed worth more than $40). And what about all the kids who have already lost days due to the strike (whether this year’s or ones in the past)?

I’m not sure what the average teacher in B.C. makes, but I’m sure it’s not nearly enough considering the fact that they are shaping the minds of our future. I believe the job they do is priceless and would happily pay more taxes towards education.

Then again, we all deserve more, but often we must see the bigger picture and settle for less.

 

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