Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fee education

Anyone who has a kid in school knows that the first week is fee week.

Amongst other fees, it used to be for the primary school kids they'd 'suggest' you buy a $5 'agenda' for your kid to help him keep track of homework, tests etc. Then, it became mandatory for you to buy your kid a $5 agenda. Now it is both mandatory and $10. That's a $5 increase in a matter of about four or five years for something that has no educational benefit.

They say it's necessary. Fine. Your kid has to write down assignments, tests, trips etc. -- well what's wrong with one of those blank notebooks from the dollar store? Or one of those calendars with the big squares? (Also available at the dollar store.)

But n
o, the schools prefer the printed agenda -- that way it has a personal greeting from the child's very own Principal and from the school board. It has the individual school's code of conduct, lunch schedule, floor map, song, cheer, bullying policy, internet policy, etc. All of this information is available elsewhere and isn't used by your average K-8 student, but it sure makes the agenda seem invaluable.

Someone is making a lot of money from this. I don't know who got the idea to make these silly wastes of paper but they must be a millionaire by now. Selling an idea like this to multiple school boards and then supplying the product --wow. Clever. And there has to be a different one every year so the calendar will be correct and the Principal's message will be fresh.

There is nothing wrong with kids taking responsibility for their assignments and upcoming events, but surely it doesn't require a $10 coil bound, holographic covered, multi-coloured, over-paged, glorified datebook to do it.

And then there's high school fees. An agenda, student ID and yearbook are all compulsory at my older kids' school. $40 per kid. If you don't have the forty dollars on the first day, they don't give your schedule.

How's that for FREE PUBLIC EDUCATION -- Dalton? TDSB? Anyone?