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                                           Poverty: Does it Make or Break a Students Future?

The article above is a fantastic article for portraying the negative impact that poverty has unfortunately placed on the youth of today in a specific part of British Columbia. It begins by telling the story of a young group of students who attend school in British Columbia that, for whatever reasons, seem to have fallen between the cracks of societies outreach when it comes to their educational involvement. Since these students attend a school that does not receive the upper echelon of provincial funding it had become increasingly difficult for these students to break through the intense barriers that society has unfortunately decided to place upon them. The question becomes why? Why is it that these students should suffer in their education, simply because in the past their school has not produced the most sterling reputation? It is not their fault and under no circumstances does it seem fair at all that these students have been marginalized by society because of the negative impact of their predecessors. This entire article only originated because of a one Carrie Gelson, who made an outward statement to make the wrongful treatment of her students at East Vancouver elementary known to the public.


            The problem of misrepresentation stems from the governments inability to divide the annual budget of over 500-million dollars evenly throughout the province. The article states that there have been cases that students that attend elementary schools in some sectors of Vancouver have gone to school for a number of days without the right amount of food to eat. This issue can be contextualized and deciphered from the perspective of the student as well as the perspective of the teachers in question. The students go to school everyday and are constantly being subjected to the everyday social strife that is forcefully placed on them. On the other hand there is the educator. The educators that teach at these schools are put in an incredible difficult position. They know the provincial system, and all of the money that the government throws around but they feel as if they cannot do anything about it. These teachers see their students morale being destroyed because they feel as if society has forgotten them and in essence lost the desire to make them succeed.


            One man who has taken all of these hardships into account and reached his wits end is a man by the name of Mark Proctor, a former principal at Admiral Seymour Elementary School in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has found one alternative to help support these students that have seemed be forgotten by society. He has decided to find alternative funding since he is no longer playing the active role as principal for the school, but his contribution is still great. Proctor said in the article that, “private funding and corporate funding can lead the way and can spearhead and can show what can be done" (CBC News). It is imperative that both educators and the government recognize the potential impact for change that these sponsorships and collaborations would bring to the table for these students. The entire article attempts to focus on the future of these students’ lives, and the ones after them. The intent of the article I chose was to portray how the only way to help these students succeed is to find a solution that will carry on for years to come. Private cooperation funding is only a temporary band-aid solution, but with the idea of future sustainability in mind we can learn from the situation in Vancouver and move forward to better the lives of poverty-stricken students and schools in the province of British Columbia and abroad.    



Critical Perspective:


            Although I do support Mark Proctor’s efforts to obtain private funding for the betterment of the struggling schools in British Columbia, I do believe that a key factor is being overlooked by this solution. As stated in the summary, private funding is a means that has an inevitable end. The only way to completely eliminate the poverty issue for the students in Vancouver is to get the government involved. Do the children of Vancouver’s struggling schools deserve to suffer because the government has made a decision to deprive these students of provincial funding? I do not believe that the government should rule out potential brilliant minds and let them fall through the cracks of society simply because their educational output has not allowed them to perform to their fullest extent. On the other hand there is also the issue of students who come from poor households that are marginalized by society right out of the gate. It is terrible to think that these students will not have the same opportunities as students from economically fortunate families, which could directly hinder the students’ social and emotional development. Since the students are openly aware that they are less fortunate than others by comparison they may be affected emotionally, which is a major issue when considering the education of younger students. This could easily be viewed as an outward discrimination by the Canadian government because these students perhaps haven’t had the drive or push to succeed because of their economic discomfort. In conclusion I believe that more needs to be done to help the struggling students of Canada. This article only details the one situation that is being experienced in Vancouver but does not even begin to explain the impact poverty has in Canada justice. More emphasis needs to be placed on the schools that are struggling so that all students, from both impoverished and wealthy families can succeed to their full potential.


Bringing Balance:


            First and foremost the issue stems right back to the provincial governments across Canada and their inability to distribute funding equally. One suggestion that could be made to better the situation for some of the impoverished schools and neighbourhood across Canada could be to do a reassessment of the school boards throughout Canada and distribute correct funding according to the school’s need for improvements. If the schools are not given the money to succeed than it is going to be even harder for the students who attend these schools to feel as if they have a chance to grow intellectually. As stated before, the idea of private funding has helped certain regions in Vancouver but it is not the solution for nationwide poverty. This is an issue that can only be solved with careful attention and better government distribution methods.