Should you Send your Child to Private School?


St. George’s library offers students an abundance of resources including books and magazines (Michael Hua)

St. George’s Great Hall (Michael Hua)

In a world where practically everything is advancing, getting a post-secondary education is extremely important if one wants to lead a successful career path. Unfortunately, getting admitted into universities and post-secondary institutions has become harder than ever before. The required high school marks are becoming higher, there is more demand for extra-curriculars, yet with the current government, public school funding is continuously getting cut. Although attending private school is a costly investment and comes with unique downsides, attending a private school can drastically change one’s future outcome; private schools have been known to have better teachers and learning, many more opportunities, and better overall academic and post-high school statistics compared to public high schools.

St. George’s Lunch Hall – Some private schools offer a complimentary meal program (Michael Hua)

A major reason why parents send their kids to private school is because of the teachers. Spectator UK, a news outlet within England reveals to readers: “Many of the independent school teachers had degrees from top universities; a large number had postgraduate degrees.” A private school’s learning structure allows teachers to teach better and more efficiently. For example, public school teachers usually teach seven blocks in a given year. Private school teachers at St. George’s only have five blocks.

On top of a reduced schedule for private school teachers, their classes are smaller, allowing them to focus more on the individuals, rather than the whole. One teacher at St. George’s who asked to remain anonymous suggests that the disparity between the learning ability of students within a classroom at public schools significantly hinders a teacher to teach effectively. Finally, private school teachers are almost pressured to help students; parents think that paying the extra tuition should result in a higher focus on their child.

St. George’s library offers students an abundance of resources including books and magazines (Michael Hua)

Private school kids not only have greater opportunities when it comes to learning and communicating with teachers, but there are also other advantages unique to private schools. One of the most important aspects private schools have an advantage in is the fact that they provide more counsellors. This not only helps kids deal with their personal issues, but theoretically reduces bullying and social commotion within a school. A recent survey done by “Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia” suggests that “twice as many parents of public school reported their children had been bullied compared to private schools parents.”

At St. George’s, there are several university counsellors and personal counsellors. At Saints, personal counsellors focus on only personal subjects. In contrast to public school, there is only counsellor per grade and sometimes even the whole school, which could be a body of 2000 people. This is troubling because, a counsellor in the public school system has to deal with way more kids in a grade, but also has to provide personal and university counselling, which is extremely tough to handle. Many students in public school have difficulty even reaching their counsellor due to the counsellor’s busy schedule.

In the end, private schools tend to produce better academic outcomes, and overall statistics, which is important because a student attending a private school has a better chance of succeeding in the short and long run. Even though the argument exists that private school grades may not always reflect the intelligence of a student, an article by CBC states that “private school students [have] better test scores and more educational success after school.” However, “none of the differences could be attributed to school resources and practices,” articulating that intelligence comes naturally, rather than relying on other factors.

St. George’s contains a two-storey grad lounge, where seniors can hangout, cook, play video games, and chill.

In British Columbia, post-secondary attendance is an astonishing 12 percent higher and university attendance is 18 percent higher among private school graduates. As anticipated, university graduation is 14 percent higher among private school graduates. Although it doesn’t guarantee that a private school student will either attend or graduate university or a post-secondary institution, there certainly is a better chance of it.

(A chart demonstrates the differences between private and public school systems, highlight important factors like university attendance and university graduations. (Stats, Government of Canada))

Even though private schools come with all their perks and glories, there still are several downsides. Firstly, private school isn’t cheap. St.George’s tuition will reach almost $25,000 next year. In comparison, the average household income in Canada is less than $50,000. Most individuals couldn’t even afford to send one kid to St. George’s even if they invested all their income into it. Moreover, attending a same-sex private school like Saints, can hinder one to fit in socially. Private school is an unrealistic atmosphere as “single-gender schools don’t afford a society where students can work with or interact with one gender or another” (Niche Blog, 2017).

(Another picture of St. George’s beautiful library (Michael Hua))

Tom Sun, a student of a St. George’s who also used to attend public school, has mixed opinions about the two school systems: “At public school, gender-inclusivity created a domino-effect of distraction for me because I would be distracted by my friends, who were also distracted.” Tom went on to talk about Saints and the same-sex system, and states that “Saints is nice because there are less distractions, but it’s hard to interact with girls outside of school especially because high school is a big part of teenage life.”

Private school can help change a student’s life for the better, but one must not underestimate hidden costs – economically and socially.

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