When we look at what is important in terms of the future of our youth, education rates close to the top of the list.
We are aware there is a correlation between the level of education and the standard of living we enjoy.
With good jobs come good homes, and a greater chance our health will be better as a result, and the likelihood of ending up in trouble with the law declines.
But to get the good jobs we need to start from a strong foundation of education.
Traditionally many of us, at least those of us of an older generation, have held to the old adage a good education comes down to reading, writing and arithmetic.
While learning the so-called ‘three-Rs’ allow young people to learn how to learn, some of the skills may no longer hold the same importance as they once did.
Certainly we need to know how to read. Without such knowledge you could not be reading these words, but you would also face the issue of how to read job documents, or even what you might search on the Internet. Reading is the basis for so much more of what education provides.
But do we need writing skills as we once did?
Good question when you consider how many of us may not have hand written more than a few words in months. The ability to type has really outstripped writing for most of us. From a doctor recording patient reports, to a reporter writing an editorial, to housewives making a grocery list, it is largely done by pounding letters on a computer keyboard.
Arithmetic too has changed. A three dollar calculator does in a couple of key strokes what was once required education garnered over several school years.
That is why we have seen schools changing in recent years.
The list of credit classes at a large high school like those we have in Yorkton is decidedly different today than it was even a few years ago.
While there are still options in English, and the full array of science and math options, students can take robotics.
We see firsthand what robotics can mean, as a team from Yorkton Regional High School will take part in a world competition later this year.
Then there is the Entrepreneurship class, and it’s very hands-on approach to teaching students about running a business (see Page A16 for a related story). It is a practical approach to education quite different from what was offered in high schools even a decade ago.
There are also classes for high performance training for athletes, targeting college-level skills and beyond, and starting soon a credit class called Hockey Canada Skills Academy, aviation, journalism and choral.
The broad range of classes now offered allow students to find their own avenue to education. While some of us might argue it is not traditional education, it is education for today, and more importantly in preparation for tomorrow.