Friday, 29 April 2011

A tough question

How do you think a student would reply to these?

You are legally required to stay in school until you're 18 (this is law in Ontario). At the age of 18 you can choose any number of work or learning opportunities and self-direct your education/life. Prior to that, you MUST be in this building at set times following a schedule that rings bells at you. Think that age limit is a coincidence?

You are held in large groups, in passive environments where you are expected to cooperate at all times. You are identified by numbers and held in rooms that are arranged so that you must all sit facing your immediate supervisor (a franchised citizen). If you attempt to electronically communicate out of this room you are summarily punished.

At the age of 18 you are legally able to vote and become a franchised citizen, and you aren't required to attend this state run at the lowest possible cost facility any more.

Still think there is no connection between being able to vote and being legally required to stay in school?

Think there is no connection between the class sizes and accessibility to technology because the people being served have no say in their government?

As disenfranchised people, you have no say over a system that mandates your daily activities closely. Are you citizens of a democracy, or are you underpaid, disenfranchised workers, held under tight limitations until you're arbitrarily given the right to vote at eighteen?

If they changed the voting age to 16, or to any age where you could demonstrate a basic understanding of the voting process and basic public affairs (something many adult voters fail to do), what do you think would happen to schools?

It's a pejorative question designed to raise some difficult questions. But ask yourself, how would education be different if the students in it were voting citizens? Having come back from the post secondary wonderland recently, I was prompted to ask myself this very question after seeing their fantastic student-teacher ratios and access to technology.