[podcast file=”http://www.alumni.ubc.ca/files/podcasts/2012/dialogues-vancouver-sep2012.mp3″ length=”1:38:17″]
On Tuesday, September 18, nearly 200 UBC alumni, friends and members of the community packed the gymnasium of the Creekside Community Recreation Centre to discuss the question “Who is responsible for our children?”
Our diverse panel included a kindergarten teacher, a former PAC chair, a school district superintendent, a developmental pediatrician and the dean of UBC’s Faculty of Education. They had a lively and thought-provoking conversation about the state of BC’s public education system before the microphone was passed to the audience for an impassioned question and answer session.
Though the situations described and the questions asked were varied – and occasionally pointed – it was clear to everyone involved that we all had the same message: our children deserve better.
To this end, several points came up over and over:
- We need to better educate our teachers in order to ensure that they’re prepared for the diverse realities of their profession. Teaching is only part of the job.
- As a society, we must shift our priorities to place more value on educating children. Even people without kids should recognize that the children of today are the doctors, plumbers and engineers of tomorrow. We all share the responsibilities and benefits of having an educated society.
- We have to replace our culture of complacency with one that actively advocates on behalf of the ideals that we hold most dear. We all need to speak up when we see problems with the system. Only then will politicians get the message.
- Greater transparency is required around how educational funding decisions are made. Why is there money for things that many people see as trivial, but not for others that seem to be of core importance to our children’s well-being?
Download or stream the podcast to get the full picture of what was discussed.