The upcoming provincial election is renewing some concerns about the future of a celebrated Vancouver robotics program.
“I am nervous if the Liberals get elected again ’cause they do want to cut education.”
The BC Liberals have been campaigning for more tech education across the province, but Judy Choi says it hasn’t eased her concern.
Her son goes to school at Gladstone Secondary and is part of the school robotics team, a highly regarded program that’s won multiple awards representing B.C.
Choi says while she’s seen the B.C. Liberals praising tech innovations and education, it wasn’t so long ago that her son’s program was on the chopping block.
“I just found it ironic that this whole new code curriculum is being shown off everywhere at BC tech summit and everywhere. Maybe unbeknownst to them the best program in Vancouver, the biggest one, was under threat because of the cuts… They’re advertising hey, hey look! We’re pouring $8-million for coding right, but Gladstone’s been doing it for 10 years, isn’t that worth keeping?”
Gladstone was one of only two high schools on the list of 12 schools facing potential closure last fall, and the students were slotted to be sent in four different directions.
While Vancouver school closures have been suspended for the foreseeable future, comments by VSB trustee Dianne Turner have indicated they may still be a possibility.
Choi says she’s not as concerned about potential closures as she is about there being enough room in the budget for the program.
“Twelve million dollars [of VSB budget shortfall] is a lot of money. What are they going to cut? Are they going to cut orchestra? Are they going to cut robotics?”