Does the government really think that "the children are our future?"

Discovery Collegiate
Bonavista, Newfoundland

By Tasha S. (Grade 11)

"And next, more teacher cuts..." "Unemployment rates are up..." "Tuition fees are once again on the rise..." "You have a better chance of getting a job if you have a post-secondary education..."

These are just a few of the contradictory statements that we, the youth of Newfoundland, hear when we pay attention to the media. For students like me who are entering their final year in the fall, this confusion is very discouraging and frankly very scary.

I know the reality is that the government has little money and is in major debt. I can't help not knowing it -- it's the excuse every politician uses. However, the government has enough money to take the risk of investing in the Cabot 500 celebrations.

While many people say that the money spent on Cabot 500 would not make a difference in education, I believe that it is far better to invest our country's dollars into something solid like our schools.

The government doesn't realise the mistake it has made. Instead of getting itself out of debt, it has only made a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

High school teacher Tony Ryan says it's short-sighted to solve economic problems by cutting spending on education.

"What government doesn't realise is that if they put more money into education, a better quality student will be turned out, and these people will be so well educated they can turn Newfoundland's economy around," Ryan says.

"On the other hand, as education funding drops, so does the quality of education and the quality of graduates. Poorly educated graduates offer little in the way of stimulating our economy and eventually have to be put on either employment insurance or welfare."

For students, these cuts will have a very negative effect in the quality of education they receive. An already poor teacher-student ratio will be made worse, leading to students not being able to get the individual help they need, says Mark T., president of Student Council.

"In subjects such as math and the sciences with a large teacher-student ratio, students will not get the help they need and may not complete the course," Mark said.

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