EDITORIAL: Math help for Coquitlam district students adds up

Online math help produced by SD43 for Grade 10 students could be a godsend, Tri-City News says. - THINKSTOCK.COM
Online math help produced by SD43 for Grade 10 students could be a godsend, Tri-City News says.
— image credit: THINKSTOCK.COM

While School District 43's financial troubles are front and centre, some talented Tri-City teachers are experimenting with ways to remove learning barriers for kids.

A marvellous example of this is a new online learning resource for students in the Math 10 Foundations and Pre-Calculus course that puts resources and step-by-step learning guides at their fingertips.

This may not be as exciting as handing iPads to kindergarten students but for many students struggling with this important course, it could mean the difference between a pass or a fail. It will also provide parents who cannot afford tutoring some measures for supporting their children.

What's more, SD43 is making this resource available and accessible to all — even people outside of the district. Because administrators chose not to lock the information behind a password-protected firewall, anyone can use this resource, which was created by a retired high school math teacher, and students studying for their Math 10 provincial exams can learn about concepts they may not have grasped during the semester.

By removing barriers to access, SD43 is following through on its Learning Without Boundaries mission, which strives to support every child's unique pathway to learning.

There may be those who worry that by making education resources easily accessible, classroom teachers can be replaced. In fact, the opposite is true; an exceptional teacher created the resource, it enhances rather than detracts from classroom learning, and it has been well-documented by research that expanding access to knowledge creates a thirst for it.

Still, it takes time, effort and money to create these useful learning resources and SD43 shouldn't be burdened with these costs. The province should pay for and centralize similar online resources and lessons so families anywhere in B.C. can have access to them.

SD43 deserves recognition and support for carrying out its commitment to its Learning without Boundaries agenda, despite its financial difficulties, and should be lauded for paying more than just lip service to making learning easier and accessible to all.


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