Saturday, 23 August 2014

More on the War against Children: Quebec's Education Minister Says Not Buying Books Won't Kill Kids

My jaw dropped yesterday when Le Devoir quoted Yves Bolduc, Quebec's education minister, as saying that not buying books for school libraries wasn't a problem because it wouldn't kill kids.   The reaction has been swift from many corners of the society, but Bolduc's comment underscores what is shaping up to be a continent wide war against kids, it seems to me.

I can not see how even a middle class young couple in the US can afford to have kids.  The kind of institutionalized support--family allowances, affordable day care and good public schools--that civilized countries provide is either non-existent or deteriorating.  Canadians are somewhat better off.  Even with erosion of our health care system, family allowances, maternity leave and good day care (at least in Quebec) remain.

But we simply can not cut corners with the education--in the broadest sense of the term--of our children.  Everything starts with learning how to read, and to solve problems.  If you don't give teachers and parents the support they need, children are going to suffer.  Some talk about shortchanging future generations by leaving them debt, but a far worse thing is short changing them when they start out.

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