It was a tough week for education in British Columbia.

Failing grade for the adults

The scenario playing out in front of Nelson area schools this week shouldn’t have taken anybody by surprise.

The scenario playing out in front of local schools this week shouldn’t have taken anybody by surprise. It was another predictable battle scene in a war that’s waged on too long between government and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. Unfortunately, the only real casualties in this skirmish are the students.

For months we’ve listened to the rhetoric from both sides. We’ve seen the ads, we’ve heard the clips on television, we’ve read the hand-outs.

Teachers are protecting the future of learning by taking a stand against a heartless government. Better classroom conditions and better pay for those at the head of the classroom will ensure our kids rise to the top.

The BC Liberals are enhancing the education system in this province by sticking with its netzero mandate for the public service, while still pumping more money into classrooms. Like all governments, they ask us to trust their direction to restoring excellence in education.

Who you trust probably depends on how you view the world. But as you drove by picket lines earlier this week, you would have a hard time arguing that either side is making the present a great place for our kids.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to get any better any time soon.

The Liberals are determined to find a solution to the impasse through Bill 22. The BCTF is unwavering in its resolve to fight the legislation. Experts say even if the bill passes, its flaws leave little optimism for this dispute to be settled by the end of June.

The way the government and union deals with each other is broken. Some education scholars argue it needs to be blown up and started anew. In theory that’s a great idea, but in reality that’s not going to happen.

The only way for this war to end is by both sides digging themselves out from their entrenched positions. Once they’ve done so, they need to look at the what’s really at stake. On Thursday morning — fresh off a three-day break — the real purpose of education will once again be sitting in their desks eager to learn.


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