Written by: Anonymous, age 15, from the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services
If I were a Mayor, I would make a few adjustments to the Board of Education.
To start, I would disregard the reinforcement of the curriculum. These days, every course is becoming simpler and simpler; students receive an extra hour when writing the OSSLT and math tests have fewer Thinking Inquiry questions. Though the curriculum may help teachers organize the information needed to be taught within a semester, universities and colleges don’t follow curriculums.
Unlike Canada, places like Korea and Japan have a more advanced and competitive studying environment and in turn have more successful students. Ultimately, constricting the concepts teachers are able to teach is setting up students for failure proven by the increasing rate of universities and college dropouts.
Moreover, I would invest more funding towards the mental health education and mental and physical wellbeing of students. The government now has in place the ESCS (Every Student Counts Survey) to understand and eliminate barriers preventing students from being successful.
The ESCS is an optional survey in which the data collected is confidential but not anonymous and is used to eliminate barriers preventing students from being successful. These barriers range from depression to suicidal tendencies to child abuse. Yet despite institutions having this data, the suicide rate are rising and statistically speaking a Waterloo student commits suicide every semester. I believe investing more money toward mental health will help this issue.
The “If I Were Mayor” blog series profiles the ideas of youth and rising leaders from across the GTHA as a way to add their voices to the municipal conversation. Posts have been curated by CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network, For Youth Initiative, Laidlaw Foundation, Toronto Youth Cabinet, Citizen Empowerment Project, Young Women’s Leadership Network, and the Centre for Community and Immigration Services. The views contained in this post are the author’s and are not reflective of CivicAction or the CivicAction Leadership Foundation.