Oliwa says Civics needed at Ucluelet Secondary School

A Ucluelet councillor wants Civic Studies to be taught in local classrooms.

A Ucluelet councillor wants Civic Studies to be taught in local classrooms.

Civics teaches students about responsible citizenship, democratic duties and the political process, which are things Coun. Randy Oliwa believes the next generation should know about.

“We should actually be teaching this in school,” Oliwa said during a recent council meeting. “It’s community engagement, it’s volunteering it’s all the stuff we talk about but somehow it’s out of our curriculum.”

He said the idea came to him during a Local Government Leadership Academy (LGLA) forum last month.

“It was really a successful week,” he said of the forum, which was held in Vancouver.

“I feel invigorated and reenergized and more focused because of it so thanks to the community for believing in us and sending us to this great educational opportunity.”

He said local students should learn about how democratic engagement works and that it would be “amazing” if the district could work with local partners to put Civic Studies onto the local curriculum

“It teaches so much. It’s integrity, it’s local politics…it’s community minded, it’s volunteerism, it’s everything,” he said. “It’s the whole gamut.”

Oliwa told the Westerly News after the meeting that civics could be brought to Ucluelet Secondary School’s desks and noted the school’s Parent Advisory Council has successfully lobbied for curriculum adds before.

“I understand with budget cuts and stuff like that how it’s not there anymore but, do we have the opportunity? Absolutely,” he said.  “Programs absolutely can be developed, we’ve had a number of successes there.”

He said the high youth turnout in Canada’s 2015 federal election should be fostered into a long-term trend.

“There is a trend right now where youth are getting involved in politics,” he said. “How do we keep that momentum up? How do we build on that energy that was there?”

He said Civic Studies would help West Coast graduates enter adulthood with the necessary tools to engage.

“They would have a really clear understanding of the political process and volunteerism, engagement, how boards of directors work; the spinoff would be huge,” he said.

“You’d have those graduating kids with that knowledge and then, if they moved on to running for municipal or provincial politics, they would at least have a clearer understanding of what the commitment is when you put your name in.”

He added this could also rejuvenate local boards and committees.

“If you had this new energized group of youth coming out of a graduating class that were very familiar with the process, it would just be a natural fit to join a board,” he said.

USS principal Carol Sedgwick told the Westerly that Civic Studies 11 is one of three options for BC high school students to fulfill their Social Studies graduation requirement but USS focuses on the other two.

“In order to graduate in BC students need to take at least one of the following: Social Studies 11 (SS 11), BC First Nations Studies 12 (BCFNS 12), or Civic Studies 11,” she said.

She said SS 11 is the most common so is offered every year as well as BCFNS 12.

“Due to a variety of reasons including the number of students registered in Grade 11 in any given year, admission requirements for post-secondary schools, and the fact that more than half of our students are Aboriginal we are able to offer two of the three possibilities and choose to offer SS 11 and BCFNS 12,” she said.

“I would expect that some schools as small as ours only offer one of the three options and schools as large as ADSS [Alberni District Secondary School] only offer two of the three options as well.”

She noted Civic Studies is available to local students through distance learning.

 

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Ahousaht Fire Department always at the ready

“Under stressful situations we come out at our best.”

Tofino honours volunteer firefighters with award

To have the community support you, say ‘Thank you,’ and recognize you, just really means an awful lot

UPDATE: Sea lion rescued in Ucluelet suffering from gunshot to the head

“It does look like there’s some pretty serious metal density in his skull.”

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

Most Read