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Are we being pushed to graduate?
By Jamie O., Westgate Collegiate, Thunder Bay, ON

I remember when I was younger thinking that I had so much time to decide what wanted to be when I grow up. Well now, I am all grown up and supposed to graduate this year, and I really have no idea. I know what I don't like, but I do not know what I want to do. I feel like I am being pushed to decide what I want to be, to make a decision that will inevitably change my life.

The new curriculum sets new goals for everyone and sets us to graduate a year earlier. You must complete forty hours of community service and complete a literacy test. You must have four English, three math, two science, one geography, history, and French. The old curriculum had a grade thirteen also called OAC's. You did not have to complete forty hours or the literacy tests. The only problem I have with the new curriculum is there is not enough time to figure out what you want to do and take all the classes you want.

Education Minister Janet Ecker said "The new curriculum will better prepare students for their futures whether they plan to go to University, college, or the workplace after they graduate." When the new curriculum came out, I felt like I had been skipped about three grades and I had no idea what was going on. I was in grade nine doing the same work as the grade twelves in my school. My grades dropped because I was rushed to have two years of experience that I never even experienced. I think the new curriculum is good, but they could have thrown it at us a little slower. They could have started it in the younger grades like grade one or two. They basically screwed us over, and I remember being in grade nine and ten and most of my teachers agreed with us that we were getting screwed.

I understand that they want us to have a better education but it was just thrown at us. I still have classes I want to take and I have no idea what I want to do yet. This year, the first year of grade twelve graduates, saw many of them ended up coming back anyways. I asked some students around the school what they thought about not having an extra year. Chantel MacD. said "We need OAC's because many people need to come back an extra year for classes that they did not know they needed to get into a University course". Brittany M. thought OAC's were better for us, she said "It gets us an early start on our careers and further education". Out of all the students I asked I only found one person who thought that taking away an extra year was a good thing.

I know that I, and the rest of Ontario students, are just going to have to get use to the new and supposedly "improved" curriculum. Hopefully the next time the board chooses to change the way Ontario is educated, they will think about how they are going to put it out there and the effect it will have in student's lives and futures.

Originally published in Westgate CVI's Student Newspaper
"Eye of the Tiger" http://westgate.lhbe.edu.on.ca/Newspaper/index.htm


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