yukon passes the test

The Yukon's decision to end mandatory provincial exams is the right one. Last week, prompted by a petition signed by 450 parents and students, Education Minister Patrick Rouble made the exams optional.

The Yukon’s decision to end mandatory provincial exams is the right one.

Last week, prompted by a petition signed by 450 parents and students, Education Minister Patrick Rouble made the exams optional.

The decision cleared up a schism between BC and the Yukon that was hurting some students.

Here’s why.

BC made the exams discretionary in 2004.

Here, they were mandatory.

And that was causing problems.

If a Yukon student wrote the exam, and did poorly, they would draw down their mark, and perhaps hobble their chances of entering university.

That’s not fair, as noted by student crusader Riley Tobin.

The 17-year-old student, who helped pull off the successful petition in one day, was competing against students who weren’t forced to write the provincial exam, which would have counted for 40 per cent of his final mark.

The playing field wasn’t level, he said.

And he was right.

This wasn’t really an issue of slacker students.

It was simply about forcing Yukon students to do something that BC students don’t have to do—which put them at a disadvantage getting into post-secondary institutions.

Rouble has now corrected this by making the tests optional, a decision that brings it in line with BC’s approach.

It was the right move. (Richard Mostyn)

Contribute for the community

This week, Whitehorse churches are gathering food for the Whitehorse Food Bank at 306 Alexander Street.

Bags have been distributed throughout the city.

The churches are asking people to fill the bags with canned meat, fish, milk, soup, beans, fruit, vegetables, rice, pasta, coffee, tea, flour, sugar or whatever else you can spare. Next week, on the date stamped on the bag, stick them back outside your door and volunteers will collect them.

It’s easy, and will help restock the shelves at the food bank, which are currently extremely low.

So take a second, prowl through your shelves and gather some stuff together to help restock those shelves.

There are plenty of people in this city who need your help. This is a great way to provide it. (Richard Mostyn)