Okanagan students explore global education barriers

Global Schoolhouse has been teaching students for 14 years

Students in Grades 5 and 6 from the Central Okanagan School District have the chance to explore why kids in other countries may not be able to go to school.

Global Schoolhouse shows students the difficulties some children have in other parts of the world. The nine-day event is hosted by Global Citizen Events, a volunteer group that tries to entertain, educate and inspire communities to action.

Events executive director Joyce Brinkerhoff said there are four main barriers to education other children face: having to work because of poverty, various sicknesses and diseases, war and civil unrest disrupting their education, as well as very limited resources and materials when they actually are able to go to school.

Several stations were then set up within New Life Centre to portray these barriers, where students could participate. One station was set up as a sweatshop, where participants were forced to work. Another station was set up as a makeshift clinic where students watched as a doctor tried to save a child dying from malaria.

Brinkerhoff said they put on the Global Schoolhouse in the hopes that Canadian students will gain an appreciation for the privilege they have.

“We want them to see the barriers for others and how they can address them. We’re privileged as Canadians, but we also have responsibilities,” she said.

“What I thought that’s really exciting is a number of the actors this year are from Okanagan Mission High School, some of their drama students. And what’s really neat is they go ‘I remember going through here when I was in grade six. It changed me and challenged me’, and that’s really exciting.”

Brinkerhoff added the reason they keep hosting the Global Schoolhouse is because they want to help teachers educate their students about the UN’s sustainable development goals in interesting ways.

“How can we educate them in interesting and impactful ways? This is how.”

Global Schoolhouse is running from now until Thursday, Feb. 13.

For more Global Citizen events, visit their website.

READ MORE: Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

READ MORE: Central Okanagan third fastest growing school district in province


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at [email protected]
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