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Silly season

October 3, 2008

In a one-two (three) punch — or a swing, anyway — Premier Shawn Graham has had published a self-congratulatory commentary in the three main papers. For sheer jaw-dropping dissociation, the following would be difficult to top:

A self-sufficient New Brunswick will be … a New Brunswick where our kids are getting the best possible education and the best start in life. Our bold education plan, “When Kids Come First,” makes important investments in innovative teaching and community schools. Our kids will get more exposure to music, art, physical education and trades. And we will provide quality bilingual education for all New Brunswick students.

It’s a New Brunswick where post-secondary education is not only accessible and affordable – it will be money well-spent. That’s the goal of our new student-focused plan for post-secondary education. Our students will get the quality education and training they need to build careers in the growing New Brunswick economy.

It’s more than a little disheartening that after more than a year of public discussion, Shawn Grahan still professes such a restricted view of the purposes and goals of education. As for being “student focused,” as we know the students were no more consulted than anyone else and the government plan does not go nearly far enough in relieving student debt loads. And as for “quality bilingual education,” the phrase is painful to consider when I walk past the empty Kindergarten and Grade One classrooms of my son’s once vibrant French immersion school, not to mention the various reports one hears of classes lacking basic textbooks.

Though to be fair, our premier doesn’t specify what quality.

All part of keeping ’em down on the farm, I guess. Except, dadburnit! They just won’t stay put!

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