As some one who works in the field of education I can’t help but think about how lucky our kids are here in Canada. While there will always be things to complain about, our students are truly blessed by our education system.

There’s a new boy in one of my classes. He’s come from Africa, having lived in a refugee settlement after fleeing his home country. He comes with little English language and virtually no educational experience. He’s been thrown into a new school in a new country. I know what that feels like, at least as a teacher. Trying to navigate through the Korean public school system was trying. I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know the cultural expectations, and I didn’t know anyone. I can’t imagine what that must feel like for a young child arriving in Canada.

The school just outside of my refugee settlement.

I think back to the school system in rural Uganda.

  • Free education is not really free – you have to have enough money to buy a uniform and books – no uniform, no school
  • Classrooms are packed to the gills. I remember walking into classrooms where there were kids sitting on the floors because there were not enough desks in the classroom.
  • Classrooms were lucky to have desks at all. The one classroom I encountered had mats on the floor. The teacher had to bring a broken chalkboard to school everyday. If it was left in the classroom it would have been stolen, as there were no doors!
  • P.E. class consisted of cutting the grass with a tool that looked like a golf club, but had a blade on both sides.
  • Teachers rarely were paid on time… let alone paid at all.
  • Resources were limited to chalk and a chalkboard, if you’re lucky.

Ugandan kids peeking in the school window

Really, we should be thankful for everything we have. All the resources, all the support. I’m definitely thankful that I was educated in Canada.


~ by dawseng on March 5, 2010.

One Response to “Education”

  1. Here is a thing about for-profit schools in the third world, and how they are often better than “free” schools. The academic papers it links to are also informative.

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