You know that dream where you’re sitting in your old high school classroom and you’ve got a test in front of you but you haven’t studied and you don’t remember seeing any of the course material before and the test is actually in hieroglyphics and—oh no—you’re not wearing any pants?
I hate that dream.
But that bad dream is nothing compared to the living nightmare that educators woke up to on Monday morning when the provincial government rolled out its draft K-6 curriculum.
Just when I thought the UCP couldn’t sink any lower after doing its best to sell off Alberta’s headwaters to Australian miners; after chasing our doctors away; after losing a billion bucks on a doomed pipeline gamble; after cancelling an affordable child care pilot program; after prolonging the pandemic with half-measures; after introducing oppressive legislation; after making electricity and insurance more expensive for struggling Albertans; after vacationing abroad while telling constituents to stay home; and after undermining public sector workers…they introduce this proposal for Alberta education.
I wish this were an April Fool’s joke, but the reality is Albertans have been made fools of ever since this government took power.
There’s something to be said about the hutzpah it takes to suggest that the premier’s grandfather, Mart Kenney, should be taught to Grade 6 music students as an important jazz influencer with no mention of, oh, I don’t know…Louis Armstrong?…but this government has shown time and time again they are unable to read the room.
If they could, they would see that it’s not just “liberals” or “socialists” upset about the disastrous proposed Alberta curriculum. It’s parents and teachers and people of all political stripes.
A cynic might suggest the draft curriculum is one way to distract our attention away from Alberta’s other dumpster fires including, but not limited to, the failed carbon tax challenge, the ongoing open pit coal mining issue and the recent refusal by doctors to ratify their tentative agreement with the province.
But engaged politicos know that this government isn’t that strategic. It’s just another example of Jason Kenney trying to ram policies steeped in ideology down the throats of constituents while banking on a base whose misogyny and fear-of-the-other couldn’t stand having a female as leader of the province.
But it’s becoming clear that even those who typically respond to the premier’s chest-thumping and divisive politics are getting tired of Alberta being the laughing stock of the country. This education plan won’t help.
It’s time for all of us to wake up from this bad dream. Let our government know they’re sleeping on Albertans.
Bob Covey// firstname.lastname@example.org