Few things are more important to the growth of society than the education of our children. It is the one way we can ensure our children can be successful in whatever path they choose later in life.
That’s why I can’t understand why the province won’t act on a promise to the people of Fort Whyte to build a new high school in their community. Education Minister Nancy Allan says she is spending money on education. But I don’t see any shovels in the ground building a high school in Fort Whyte.
The Pembina Trails School Division has spoken out about the need for a high school in Fort Whyte, and rightly so. A high school there would benefit families living there, and more are moving into the community in greater numbers. Far too many students travel great distances to learn essential skills because the long-promised high school in Fort Whyte has been forgotten.
This does little to provide adequate learning environments for students.
So far parents are left with no choice but to send their children to private school or to apply for a spot in a school outside of their catchment area. That’s just not fair.
Parents pay education taxes in their home school division in order to be able to send their children to schools relatively close to home. Not having a school nearby will make it more difficult for students to feel as though they belong. It will also be increasingly challenging for those schools to ensure that students are part of a school community.
What cannot be forgotten is that schools are part of a community as a whole. They are places where community meetings can take place, where youth clubs can meet after school and where polling can take place during elections.
Failing to build a high school in Fort Whyte means that the area’s residents are being denied a place to gather within their own community and that high school students are being denied an education close to home.