After an unsuccessful run to be Kamloops-South Thompson MLA last year, Beat Klossner has set his sights on the board of education.
The 56-year-old baker and member of the B.C. Communist Party was born in Switzerland, but has called Kamloops home since 2002. He knows the school system from a parent’s point of view, having raised a daughter who was taught locally.
Klossner said he decided to seek a trustee position in the Oct. 20 election because he doesn’t think the school board is doing a good job.
“I see a disconnection between the board of education and the actual schools,” Klossner said.
When he attends school board meetings, Klossner said he hears that everything is running fine in the district, but when he speaks to students, teachers, support staff and parents, he is told otherwise.
The board has been too quick to close schools in the past, he said, arguing they need to be re-opened to alleviate space limitations.
He said the board needs to have “more guts” and be more demanding in its funding requests to the province.
Klossner added that the board needs to do a better job facing difficult issues, pointing to sexual-harrasment allegations from parents earlier this year that led to a report that recommends defining what constitutes sexual misconduct.
“They seem to be very unprepared for that,” Klossner said.
If elected, Klossner said, he plans to combat privatization of school services and meet regularly with students and teachers.
“I think that what happens in the schools should guide what’s going to happen at the board of education, not the other way around,” he said.
Klossner said he wants to see equally distributed resources, adding every neighbourhood should have an “awesome school.
“We shouldn’t have poorer schools and wealthier schools,” Klossner said.
In the long term, Klossner said he would like to see a more Scandinavian style of education system, which is less focused on tests and more interested in the student.
“I don’t want to see future workers coming out of school. I want to see independent-thinking, confident, young citizens coming out of the school system,” he said.
He described B.C.’s new curriculum, which is aimed at personalized learning and critical thinking, as a step in the right direction.
To contact, Klossner, call 250-851-0505 or email email@example.com.