Public vs. Private School
by Andrew Chapados | The decision to send a child to public or private school can be a difficult one for parents. Deciding what method of education best suits the prospective student, while being financially feasible to parents has become a popular subject in recent times, as education is a top issue for each political party as seen in this past provincial election.
Private schools tend to offer smaller classrooms, a more singularly focused curriculum (certain schools specialize in specific skills or religious viewpoints) and gender-specific classes.
Perhaps the most important offer however, is a meritocracy for teachers. A poorly performing teacher in a private institution is going to be shunted out of the school significantly faster than in the public education system.
For parents interested in sending their children to a private school, cost is almost always the most important issue, with some schools requiring fees comparable to buying a modestly priced new car every year.
The large fees can be strenuous on families, as some significant sacrifices are likely going to be required.
With all of the unique aspects offered by private schools, it might come as a surprise to hear that in 2012 the University of British Columbia found that of 4,500 first-year physics and calculus students, those who were accepted from the public school system actually outperformed private school students by two or three per cent.
Though the public school system tends to get stereotyped negatively, many powerful and influential Canadians are graduates from the public school system, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, new Rogers NHL host George Strombolopoulous, and even Canada’s first female astronaut Roberta Bondar.
Proponents of the public education system believe it’s because of the diverse selection of students more accurately reflects what these children will face as they grow into adults and enter the workforce.
Luckily, for a parent deciding where to send their child, there is an abundance of information available about most schools, public or private. Researching various local schools is key, as is talking to the teachers and taking a tour of the premises.
There are a number of great choices in either sector of the country, but the determination of what atmosphere is going to suit a child the best is ultimately the most important.
This is something that a fancy brochure or convenient location is not going to convey.