I read with interest your cover story, Leaders come to UBC for APEC `97 (UBC Reports, Jan. 23, 1997). I wonder if someone could define for me what "human resources development" is? Does that include treating Filipino women like a commodity, trading them as domestic workers to the highest bidding country? Does it mean incarcerating workers in South Korea for trying to form a union, and then passing repressive labour legislation in the middle of the night? Is murdering the population of East Timor a developmental process?
Perhaps the UBC administration thinks it an honour for our president to host this summit which includes people who are responsible for some of the most repressive living and working conditions in the world. Or perhaps it is an effort to encourage investment in the university. Either way the decision ought to be reconsidered.
Women's Studies Centre
Students, educators and children from all over British Columbia have benefited from the unprecedented innovations that the Child Study Centre has brought to the educators of young children and to developmentally appropriate curriculum.
We are concerned that the decision to close the centre is short-sighted and has been made precipitously. Teachers, educators, staff and community members were not given the opportunity to challenge the dean's reasons for the closure or to explore alternative solutions. We feel that the Faculty of Education has failed to be accountable to or serve fair process to the teachers, faculty, parents and children who will be affected by their decision.
We ask the Faculty of Education to revoke its decision to close this centre for excellence for the study of young children, and assert its commitment to early childhood education by supporting this valuable resource.
Hea Sook Kim
I am writing to protest the proposed closure of the Child Study Centre. I am surprised and dismayed to think that this excellent observation opportunity is considered superfluous by the Faculty of Education. From its simple beginnings many years ago, to its present optimum design, it has served many institutions as well as UBC faculties. At what point was it realized that its mandate was not being met? Certainly, from a logical and business-like approach, the university must have made periodic evaluations of the viability of the facility, its staff and director. Only with ongoing communication can evaluations reflect needed change. It seems that no warning signals were received by the staff or the many families whose children were benefitting from a beginning education.
Today, the casual observer thinks that day care and preschool are synonymous. There are many similarities, but only in that the programs are ideally geared to the needs of the children in attendance, and to the length of time spent in the centre. Both options are necessary in our society and one cannot adequately replace the other. An eight-hour day of child care is often the only choice for two working parents. The two-and-a-half-hour preschool experience is the choice of many other families. Through the years, the Child Study Centre has fulfilled its societal mandate, has it not? It seems harsh, indeed, to now sever that choice from the menu of both participating families, and from the learners in your own faculty.
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