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OPINION: We don’t let young birds fly

School hallway with student lockers.
School hallway with student lockers. -Deposit Photos

Imagine you are playing an exciting video game. You defeated the boss and are ready to move onto the next stage. However, you discover that the game requires you to wait until every other player has finished. Imagine the boredom you would experience and the loss of desire to play afterwards.

In our current educational system, this is how it works. Video game levels are comparable to grades, and bosses to concepts that a student should know. If we want kids to truly believe that the sky's the limit, we should allow them to fly when they are ready - not when they are old enough. I was profoundly bored throughout my early grades; concepts came relatively easy to me, and I waited through grades instead of learning. Although being accelerated one grade forward was simple, further advancement was near impossible. After a while, my interest decreased exponentially.

In order to resolve this lack of stimulation, I had to enroll in a rigorous and complicated process involving numerous transfers between schools and provinces. For many other students with situations similar to mine, such a solution might not have been possible. My experience would have been much more beneficial if P.E.I.’s educational system had been more open-minded to grade-skipping, or had increased the availability of ‘gifted’ programs.

Student engagement is vital to students’ creativity and innovation. The loss of talent can be avoided by removing restrictions and maintaining a limitless sky.

(Vivian) Qiao Xie,
UPEI student, age 12,
Charlottetown

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