Mildred Dover, the Minister of Education for Prince Edward Island and Chief Spokesperson for Canadian Delegation on Education, delivered a message at the 33rd Session of the UNESCO General Conference on the theme of Education for All. The message from all Canadian provinces and territories is that of inclusion, “a belief that all students are entitled to equitable access to learning, achievement, and the pursuit of excellence in their education.”1
I too have the right to learn; this is not to take away from the fact of how grateful I am for all of the support I have received. Just knowing that my educators and counselors have faith in my abilities and the willingness to help and support me in obtaining my goals means so very much to me.
I attended NSCC Bell Road Campus for the first time back in 1995. I obtained a diploma in Automotive Technology (Motive Power). I worked my way up from a stocker on backshift, to a Division Manager of the Tire and Lube. After eight years with the same company, I suddenly found myself unemployed. I had always wanted to become a nurse, so I chose this time in my life to return to school to obtain that career goal. In order to enter the program I needed to obtain my academic grade twelve. I had a GED but not my high school diploma. Through the Access program, I was now being given the opportunity to not only obtain this but so much more.
Do I feel as though it is my right to learn? Absolutely, everyone has the right to a better education; it is something that will benefit many. Well-educated people lead to a well rounded community.
Do I feel that I have the freedom of expression? I do, and have always had that right. Being uneducated does not take away that right. The benefit of being educated is that when you speak, more people are apt to listen.
I will graduate with my grade twelve diploma from NSCC in June 2008. I will walk across the stage at the convocation ceremonies with my head held high and a sense of pride and accomplishment like no other. It is times like this that makes a person grateful for their right to learn.
I will move to the NSCC Waterfront Campus in the fall of 2008 to begin my training for a career in nursing. Because of all my accomplishments in the Adult Learning Program, I now feel prepared to take on the world, looking at it from a whole new perspective.
When I have completed my nursing course, I hope to be able to bestow back to my community the care and compassion that was shown to me on my road to a better education and in turn a better life. This sense of accomplishment is something that I would wish that everyone had the opportunity to experience for themselves at least once in their life time. Education for all will truly make the world a better place.
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1Dover, Mildred (2005). Message from Canada on Education For All, Canadian Delegation Report: 33rd UNESCO General Conference (Commission 11).