Community Perspectives on Education

While educational opportunities are available for learners of all ages and at various stages of their schooling, we are far from where we want to be as a community of learners. We believe that a sustainable community is a community that values learning. During community consultations, many individuals commented on both the strengths and limitations of the available educational options.

Address Drop-out Rates
Many individuals said that schools in our community have a significantly high drop-out rate. It was felt that, during boom times, too many students leave school with the short-sighted impression that they can find high paying work locally without having to finish school.

Statistics suggest that current drop-out rates are somewhat lower than the provincial average. Significant improvements have occurred in the last few years, perhaps accounting for the discrepancy between community perceptions and actual numbers.

Expand Education Options
Many community members felt after school programs and a local post-secondary campus and/or adult education centre would encourage our youth to stay in the community. There is the perception that when our youth leave home to take their education to the next step, they do not come back. As well, some residents wondered if the youth understood the importance of higher education and skills training to finding employment in their desired fields.

Foster Quality
As our community grows, the school system is becoming strained by limited resources, larger classes, and more students with socio- economic needs. We need to foster a culture of excellence within the school system and provide more support at all levels, especially for different types of learners.

Make Education Inclusive
Citizens from all walks of life, with varying levels of ability and from different cultures, seek help in developing life skills at varying levels, from basic literacy to post-secondary training. Existing local programs do not meet all those needs. Meanwhile, many who are illiterate remain isolated and embarrassed to seek help.