Today's discussion:

Is schooling becoming optional?

The persistence of high absentee rates demonstrates that it is not a passing phenomenon. Schooling is becoming optional and it will have dire consequences for the life prospects and employability of the pandemic generation.

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The Hub Staff

Paul W. Bennett notes that across school districts, student absenteeism rates have doubled, while parents of students have acclimatized to children missing classes due to COVID-19 shutdowns. What are your thoughts on Bennett’s findings and arguments?

26th January 2024 at 7:36 am
Richard Courtemanche

Education has always been essential to one’s successful future for many decades. Unfortunately, its quality at all levels has disintegrated with the infiltration of cultural Marxism, liberal ideologies, wokeism, etc. Be very afraid for the well-being of future generations. Radical leftwing governments and institutions are failing society.

26th January 2024 at 8:40 am
Paul Attics

So, on the actual question and article, are we to infer that “infiltration of cultural Marxism, liberal ideologies, wokeism, etc.” (love the etc. BTW, the cherry on top) is a possible/likely cause for the rise in absenteeism?…or is this just an opportunity to sound off on this grab bag of fears, bogeymen,…etc.

26th January 2024 at 9:32 am

If something is not valued, its use declines. Could that be an underlying problem?

26th January 2024 at 12:01 pm
Paul Attics

One reason for absenteeism could certainly be the decline in the perceived value of the experience.
Getting the high school diploma is valued, as it is a requirement for further opportunity. However, the actual learning achieved along the way may be much less so. As such, showing up is less important as long as the credential is earned.

26th January 2024 at 2:58 pm
A. Chezzi

These stats are disturbing because the well being of a country depends on the education of its people. A look to the U S shows that “red” states have a lower level of education and a lower quality of life and little chance of improving their life. There are laws on the books which school boards can use to ensure that parents have their children at school. It seems provincial authorities are loathe to use the laws they have. It is useless to talk about “back to basics” as many provincial ministers of education are and then not make sure that the students are in the classrooms. Unless students are convinced of the value of education early in life, it doesn’t stick later in life. Politicians are concerned about affordability. Affordability is related to education. They go hand in hand. This just seems to be part of the false premise that individuals can go it alone. It seems as if we are in a time when people do not value the common good any longer and before it changes, there may well be some very catastrophic results.

26th January 2024 at 8:42 am
Paul Attics

The article only offers a single possible reason for this increase in absenteeism, a carry-over from COVID lock-downs. Obviously without data, it is all speculation. For the importance, huge money, and time spent by society on basic grade school education, this itself is a telling problem.

Children are suffering from an alarming increase in anxiety related conditions. The pandemic response made this worse, but it was already happening. Obviously, anxiety corelates with absenteeism, and, as such, an increase in the former means an increase in the latter.

Society, we have a problem.

26th January 2024 at 8:00 am
Michael F

There may be correlation with the differing parenting styles of this generation that is also underlying this phenomena. People seem quick to forget that the world went through a similar experience post World War I and survived it.

26th January 2024 at 12:51 pm

Trudeau doesn’t seem to be interested in free trade. Today he just stopped the UK from importing cheese into Canada. Our economic future looks pretty sad. With no export or import how do we attain Capital Growth in Canada? 2024 and beyond look pretty unproductive. But Spending and wasting money is very BIG with this LIBERAL REGEIM!

26th January 2024 at 2:52 pm
Paul H

It’s understandable that if children think it’s ok for their parents not to go to work then it’s reasonable to assume that children think it’s ok not to go to school. Parents know the nanny state will take care of them if they choose not to work. Is the problem of declining school attendance symptomatic of the ever increasing intrusion of the nanny state into the care of Canadians.

26th January 2024 at 9:38 am
Paul Attics

It is amazing how as simple problem (growing absenteeism in grade schools) gets shoe-horned into whatever issue is currently being fed to them (nanny state) via their “inflammatory media diet”.

Regular Canadians, families, are struggling even more to make ends meet and would likely welcome the so-called nanny state, if offered, to help them get them through this winter. Who are these great swaths of Canadians living it up in work-free comfort on this so-called nanny state?
List three specific examples of these “increasing intrusions”…

26th January 2024 at 10:09 am

I wonder if we would look at absenteeism on a broad scale, if there would correlation to what is happening in schools? It is not uncommon for families to go on vacation when it works for both parents working and school plays second fiddle….” Our kids are smart enough we can take some assignments along and catch up later”. When that happens, kids miss 5 days at school in one shot!

26th January 2024 at 12:08 pm
Michael F

You think that maybe instead of instantly blaming government that it may also have something to do with parenting by this generation?

26th January 2024 at 12:53 pm

Perhaps we need to look at the curriculum for an answer. Having been regularly absent b@ck in the days of chisels on stone slabs, I wonder if kids today have the same feeling of irrelevance in the education system. Both my grandkids excel in school, but I know many others don’t.

26th January 2024 at 8:41 am
Paul Attics

Another consideration is just how engaged are the kids in school today compared to the past? Being present does not necessarily mean being present.

If we had solid metrics on student engagement (grades are not likely an accurate proxy for this), I think we would be shocked at the low level of engagement in the learning experience.

Attendance is just a metric for ‘availability to learn’, not actual learning.

26th January 2024 at 3:03 pm
Chuck Guyitt

The first requirements that involve being a good reporter is to get your questions to the representative for whom ever you want to interview. That way the questions on hand can be screened and answered as the interview person want them to be answered. Watching Vassy on Question Period or Power Play you can tell that what questions she is given to ask are no where near as to what she really wants to ask. Complete set up by the network to keep the cash flow coming in.

27th January 2024 at 10:41 am

Home schooled kids have little to no social skills

27th January 2024 at 9:12 am
Paul Attics

A grade school public education was born in a time of information scarcity. One had to go to school to have access to the basic information deemed necessary for a basic but essential education. This became less and less true as not only basic information has become essentially free, even the education experience is.

The general public education (~5 hours per day, ~200 days per year, for 13 years – or 13,000 hours) is an inefficient scattergun approach to learning considering the time spent. There are, of course, other benefits to school: childcare, social development, discovering actual passions (trumpet, gymnastics, coding, etc.). However, I would wager a typical and effective homeschooled child spends a fraction of these hours learning.

Perhaps the part of the problem is the means by which we are still doing the education? Schools seem to be one of the more conservative institutions in out society, and, as such, is slow to change, and times are changing super fast.

26th January 2024 at 3:28 pm