The reasonable reasons for the enrolment drop in our schools:
Families are leaving the province, and the development of special schools

Nipawin - February 4, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis


We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo(1)



Lately, I have been reading the book "Feedback Thought in Social Science and System
Theory(2)" by George Richardson, and I have become more aware how our social structures
determine our pattern of behaviour, and how our own decision makers blame external events
for our own failures. When our decision makers cannot blame an external event for their own
failures, then there is the ultimate Saskatchewan solution: the cover up!



- 4,100

And so, today, we have Department of Education(3) spokesperson Don Sangster who blames
the low birth rate for last year's enrolment drop of 4,100 students in our school population(4).
The StarPhoenix reinforces the covering up of our own shortcomings by reporting this news
as a matter of a fact. That is, our own governments and newspapers have no special interest to
educate the public.



reasonable reasons

But, we take another route, we have the vested public interest to educate the public, educate
our own governments, and educate our own newspapers. Therefore, we are going to provide
senior bureaucrat Don Sangster and journalist Darren Bernhardt with the reasonable reasons
why we have an enrolment drop in our schools.



- 19,494

One of the most important reasons the student enrolment dropped last year, is not because of
last year declining birth rate; one root of the problem is that our people are leaving the province.
Young families are leaving the province along with their children. This why we have a drop of
student enrolment. For Saskatchewan, Statistics Canada reports that 5,500 people left the
labour force in 2000, and that 5,500 fewer people were employed in 2000(5). At the same time,
the Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics reports a decrease in our population of 2,459 for the year
2000(6), while in an astonishing statistical fashion Saskatchewan Health reports a decrease of
19,494 people for the same year(7)! We have reached the point where our own government is
playing the number game, yet the original numbers at the source seem to be altogether wrong!



self-fulfilling prophecy

I get so frustrated when I hear Jerry Zimmer, education director of the catholic school system
in Saskatoon, saying that he is very conscious of the population trend. Which population trend
Mr. Zimmer? That the Department of Education is predicting an enrolment drop to 160,000 by
2009 from 190,000 in the 1990s? This predicting is nothing else but a self-fulfilling prophecy
to maintain the status quo and to continue to write off the growing number of poor children in
this province(8)!




This is another reason why our student enrolment is dropping, because our Department of
Education is writing off our poor Aboriginal children by sending them off to special alternative
schools and reinforcing the cycle of division between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.



+ 90,000

Our governments must not predict what the future is. They must provide reasonable social
scenarios to steer social growth, otherwise their own policies will be reinforcing their own
shortcomings and drift us to a hell of a society. In the dramatic scenario I provided for the
Aboriginal population, we found the scenario that this population would increase to 233,008
in year 2010 from 143,047 in the year 2000(9). That is a dramatic scenario where our
Aboriginal population would increase by almost 90,000 people in a span of 10 years. What
would be the average age of these 90,000 children Mr. Sangster, and Mr. Bernhardt, and Mr.
Zimmer, and Mr. Government? You don't know, or rather you don't want to know Mr. Big
Brains? Are you going to continue to write off our own poor children and send them off to
special schools Mr. Big Brains? Timothy Shire was right when he said that perhaps the
development of special schools... will address the problem but should we not be considering
  why the problem exists in the first place(10)?
  List of relevant political and economics articles


We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us cartoon. Quoting from The Best of Pogo Simon & Schuster 1982


Feedback Thought in Social Science and System Theory, by George P. Richardson. Dr. Richardson is professor of Public Policy, Department of Public Administration and Policy, Rockefeller College, University at Albany, SUNY


Lack of Vision in Saskatchewan Education, by Mario deSantis, March 14, 1999


Low birth rate to blame for enrolment drop: gov't, by Darren Bernhardt, February 3, 2001, The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Labour force characteristics for both sexes, aged 15 and over,


Saskatchewan Population, Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics


Saskatchewan population. Saskatchewan Health, Corporate Information and Technology Branch, Covered Population 2000. Population in health card renewal. The Saskatchewan population was 1,041,256 in July 1999, and it was 1,021,762 in July 2000


Honourable Eric Cline has not balanced the budget yet, he forgot our school-children, by Mario deSantis, April 2, 2000




A Dramatic Scenario Of Saskatchewan Changing Demography: The Aboriginal People Are Our Forgotten People, by Mario deSantis, January 18, 2001




HighSchool.alt, by Timothy W. Shire, November 11, 2000