To the Editor:
When is this epidemic of school closures going to stop? I know enrolment is down but it is not fair to sacrifice the quality of education of our future generation so the super schools meet their quota. Nobody wants to take blame that maybe these super schools might have been a mistake. I am pretty sure the millions of dollars spent on these schools could have been better spent resolving issues that smaller schools were facing and ensuring that the quality of education remain first and foremost of importance.
Before I continue, I am not blaming the teachers and faculty at these super schools, I am sure they are doing their best. But you don’t have to have a Phd in human resources to know the effect these schools have not only on the students but the community in which they live as well. This letter is in reference to the possibility of the closing of Pictou Academy.
Who or whom that are responsible for the possible closure of Pictou Academy should be ashamed of themselves as they probably don’t know the significance of Pictou Academy and if they did they certainly lost respect from myself and many others.
In case you are not aware of the history of Pictou Academy, it was founded by Thomas McCulloch who arrived in the early 1800s. He was Education minister and studied medicine. His passion was to start a public school where anyone could attend regardless of status in reference to religion, race, rich or poor. Before his arrival there was no real form of structural education. His dream was to have Pictou Academy become recognized as a university but due to a lack of funding it never happened. He, himself, later in life became first president of Dalhousie University and another student of Pictou Academy, Sir William Dawson, world famous geologist, became principal of McGill University. After his death an organization called Friends of Pictou Academy rebuilt the school which, in the last part of 19th century, produced an army of scholars. Two provincial premiers, two lieutenant governors, four judges, eight university presidents, 14 newspaper editors, 25 missionaries, 40 university professors, 63 lawyers, 190 doctors plus more than 300 ministers. Sorry for the long history lesson but I thought it was important as to why we can’t let this school close at any cost.
In closing, let this not be a repeat of the closure of the River John School despite all the hard, dedicated efforts made by such a loving, strong-willed community. After all, we are supposedly living in a democracy where majority rules, not a selected number of number crunchers. Make your voice heard not just around the kitchen table.