Established in 1993, The Learning Partnership is a national charitable organization dedicated to championing a strong public education system in Canada through innovative programs, credible research, policy initiatives, executive leadership and public engagement. Since its inception, more than 4.5 million students and teachers have participated in one or more of The Learning Partnership’s programs, including Take Our Kids to Work™, Welcome to Kindergarten™, Change Your Future and Entrepreneurial Adventure.
Across the country, labour unrest in the educational sector is generating negative press and causing many people to question the value of public education. In my opinion, these are two separate issues. Labour disputes must not distract us from what is vitally important for Canada and Canadians: that investing in a strong public education system today will result in big payoffs in the future.
By focusing on education we develop a workforce armed with 21st century skills and abilities that allow Canada to compete successfully in an increasingly knowledge-based and rapidly changing global marketplace. We produce an educated population that places fewer demands on our health care system. Most importantly, we create an informed society that is fair and equitable, one that embraces diversity and is engaged in the democratic process.
If this is the Canada we want to see in 20, 30 or 40 years, then our investment in programs that support early learning, encourage at-risk youth to stay in school and provide supports for students in physical, emotional or financial need must be protected.
Canada already has an enviable reputation. Investing in public education means an even brighter future for our economy, our services, our citizens and our presence on the world stage.
Courtney Pratt, Board Director, The Learning Partnership, and Jim Fisher, Vice-Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
As seen in The Hamilton Spectator, Friday March 16, 2011
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