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Students learn about PC candidates

Boyle School is trying to educate its students about politics. Gail Mageean, an English and science teacher, accompanied a group of students to see the three candidates for leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative party last week.

Boyle School is trying to educate its students about politics.

Gail Mageean, an English and science teacher, accompanied a group of students to see the three candidates for leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative party last week.

“Garry Szmyroko, of the PC party, wanted to know if we would be interested in having the students come see the candidates,” Mageean explained. “I hadn’t really known they (the candidates) were coming until then, but anytime I can get the students to hear somebody, see somebody, I jump at it.”

Mageean thinks it’s important to get the younger generations interested and involved in what’s going on in the world.

“Democracy is only as strong as it’s participants,” she said. “I thought it would be a good opportunity that they would be able to see at least three of the candidates.”

The students all agreed that candidate Doug Griffiths was their favorite.

Since he used to be a teacher the students knew he placed a high value on education. He also knew how to engage them more than the other candidates.

Gary Marr suggested to the students that the school become a one-room schoolhouse with no teachers and all distance learning. But the students didn’t think getting rid of teamwork, group work, and teachers would benefit their education.

As far as the students were concerned Doug Horner was all business. He was all about values and they felt he didn’t answer their questions.

All in all, Doug Griffiths won over the Boyle students.

“We devised a list of questions and the one that was really important for the kids was the issue of education,” Mageean said. “That’s what they’re right in the midst of.”

The students asked the same questions of all three candidates and recorded their answers to compare.

“To me the interest then becomes, what would it take to get young people more interested and more active in politics?” she said. “I think they have seen the diversity within one party. They saw the different perspectives that people have on things and still be in the same party.”

Mageean was pleased to see the candidates differed so much because the students were able to see a whole spectrum of candidates from one party.

“I think they learned that you have to listen very carefully to know what someone is saying and to really think about what it is they are saying to you,” she said. “What impressed me with a lot of the students was with how much attention they paid to the candidates.”

Mageean thinks it was a good learning experience to see only one party.

“If it had been an election involving more parties, we could have exposed them to more parties and certainly I would encourage them to look online at all parties,” she said. “That was one of the things they were encouraged to do. One of the candidates encouraged them just to get involved.”

The students were able to see how they could change the face of the province by meeting the candidates, and how an informed decision is the best one.

“Remember you are the present, the here and now. This is your life, and get involved to do something with it,” Mageean said. “I guess the whole idea is to act rather than be acted upon.”





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