Tag Archives: education

The Solution to Quebec Student Strikes

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Last week, I mentioned that the students in Quebec should consider a completely different model for education.

I’m relieved to see that I’m not alone:  Google alumni Sebastian Thrun has decided to stick it to the educational ‘establishment’ that hurls generation after generation into insurmountable debt so that they can literally ask ‘do you want fries with that’ and create a whole new approach to learning.

He understands – primarily as a result of his experience with Google – that important credentials (eg. the Google Certified Partner program) can cost students as little as $50, make them qualified to do what they need to do with skills that are VERY MUCH in demand and leverage these talents to start new businesses, help non-profits or join the corporate ranks.

So … why aren’t students in Quebec (and everywhere else) seeing the light and challenging an antiquated model of learning that started with the ancient Greeks and continues today?

Tradition dictates that we run to stand still.  It’s time to get off the treadmill and throw the old ways on their head using new technology.

What an incredible opportunity for these people!

The Opportunity For Quebec Students

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This Quebec government / student clash of wills represents a unique opportunity in all of the world (I dare say) for one group of activists to introduce, discuss and implement an incredibly new approach to doing things.

Charest is testing new grounds with his fascist assault on liberties in Quebec and this approach will bleed over into the rest of Canada.

It’s now critical that Quebec students consider the alternatives.

Here’s what we know:

  • Education has become very expensive.  Students are facing onerous bills and excessive debt when they’re finished.
  • Most new teachers aren’t paid well.  They aren’t rewarded for extra time spent with marking, creating course content and sometimes even the teaching process itself.
  • Those teachers who are paid well may or may not care about teaching anymore.  They’re so obsessed with corporate-driven research that students are nothing more than an inconvenience.
  • Text books are a rip off and the companies are owned by people that do bad things (look it up).
  • The administration staff budgets are exploding, getting ever disproportionately larger compared to all of the other cogs in the machine and routinely buried in perks and bloat that would make Croesus blush.

What’s the opportunity, then?

Start over.  Build from the ground up.

My mind is reeling with the possibilities that this presents:

  • Use of non-copyrighted materials for educational materials
  • Crowd-sourced and open-source content that speaks to everything that’s new in the world
  • Elimination of top-heavy and expensive admin staff
  • Rewrite the curriculum
  • Radically reduced fee structure that will ensure that everyone in the province gets a fair education
  • Eliminate the interaction / intermingling of ‘big business’ with research and analysis

And so on …

It’ll take at least a few years to get the basics in place, but what are you waiting for?

If there’s 300,000 students and each of you are paying an average of $5,000 per year, that’s a ‘seed capital’ investment of about $1.5 billion, give or take.

That’s a lot of opportunity!

Category: Canada | Tags: , , ,