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Challenging the Norms ... School Buildings

I have written a couple of blog entries where I have tried to apply some "different thinking" to our society and the way we do things today. Back in January I questioned our Canadian belief that "Universal healthcare" is a good thing. In December I wrote a blog entry questioning (a) why our government gets to decide how big it should be (b) why older people are not recruited and sent off into war zones and (c) why we give "free" money to people through our welfare system.

Today I am again questioning "the way it is" ... this time with regard to a public asset, our school buildings.

We live in a society where certain things have value, and generally speaking we want to make the most of our resources. One of those resources is real estate ... the price (value) of bricks and mortar increases constantly, so we should be finding way to maximize our use of real estate.

What about our school buildings which are typically large structures filled with resources such as desks, computers, labs, sports equipment, etc.

These buildings are fully utilized for some (very small) percentage of time. The school day is not particularly long and the school year is not particularly long ... so it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how much time these "assets' sit idle, burning money because they still need heat and light, perhaps security etc.

What could we do to maximize our use of these public assets? There must be creative ideas "out there" ...

Set them up for "shifts" teaching school? Maybe have the school used by younger students for the first 8 hours, and then by university/college students for the next 8 hours?

Perhaps we could increase the school year and have students actually go to school 12 months a year and have 4 or 6 weeks vacation a year ... like the rest of society.

Perhaps we could "school share" ... reducing the need for more schools, just having school hours match up with the needs of society. There is no "law" that would suggest school has to be during the day .. that's just the way we have evolved.

Perhaps we could find businesses that could use the school facilities during off hours? Maybe private colleges, or help desk centres or some other type of business that could utilize a school setup.

Society often operates the way it does because "that's the way its always been done". Well times are changing and we need to look at the world asking the question why? Change is always difficult and people will always find great reasons why NOT to change ... maybe if we could find reasons TO change we could all benefit.

"When you are through changing, you are through." ... Bruce Barton