IBD program more important than ever

Dear editor,

So we now have a 4.6-day school week.  And despite the fact that our teachers are already drowning under the unmanageable work loads, class sizes and compositions, they now have to do it in 4.6 days.  It got me thinking about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) that got cancelled for 2016-17 due to low enrolment.

IBDP is an international program whose mandate is CREATIVITY, ACTION, and SERVICE. Instead of the regular 90-hour high-school semester course, IB offers either 150 or 240 teaching hours. Greg Kochanuk, the socials teacher, identified the rich possibilities of both the program’s internationalization and the additional hours in speaking about his socials class: where students in provincial Grade 12 studies get one class devoted to South African history (including apartheid), students in his latest IB cohort spent five classes on it – and two of the students in the class were from South Africa.

While the IB program costs $1,500 for the two years of the diploma, it is a fraction of the price of private schools, which start at $21,000 a year for tuition. As the only anglophone public school on Vancouver Island to offer the IB program, Highland offers private school education in our backyard.

Because of the rigour of IB, grades can be lower than those in regular school. However, most universities like UBC ‘recalibrate’ the IB grades into comparable ones so that 67 per cent of the IB diploma students got into their first-choice UBC, compared to 46 per cent of the provincial system grads. IBDP students also maintained a stable average of around 75 per cent through their four years at UBC and were between 25 and 50 per cent more confident in their educational and social skills than non-IB students.

Please email andrew.black@sd71.bc.ca to get on an interest list for 2017-2018 and save the IB program from going under.

Judy Johnson

Comox

 

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