That puberty talk

ARE WE THERE YET? - Backseat Driver (The Freeman) - September 20, 2015 - 10:00am

Have you ever sat down with your pre-pubescent child to have 'THAT' conversation? Well, I kind of had that conversation over the weekend.  The conversation started with how puberty kicks in with many surprises.  I told my little man that around the age of 14, puberty kicks into high gear.  At this point, he interrupts and asks me if I was aware that when he's 14 and at Grade 9, he could choose to take automotive servicing for his technology and livelihood education (TLE).  I was pleasantly caught off-guard by his question, and was glad he changed the subject.

Having realized that I knew almost nothing of the government's K to 12 program, I went ahead and did some research on their TLE and Technical-Vocational Livelihood Track Industrial Arts curriculum.  The program has an extensive program that starts during the ninth grade and continues all the way until 12th grade.  It is here where a student would learn basic automotive servicing, relevance of taking the course and career opportunities.

From the proper use, maintenance and storage of tools and equipment to engine fine tuning, the four-year course would really provide the student with the knowledge and skills that would give veteran mechanics a run for their money.  Plus, the students will be drilled in safety procedures for the different tasks at hand.  From identifying potential hazards to observing occupational health and safety standards, students will be made to understand that immediately uncapping the radiator of an overheated engine is a very bad idea.

I could go on and on with what the program includes but what's also got me glad is the thought that, in theory, the government has figured out what to do with all those impounded or smuggled vehicles and vehicle engines that remain unclaimed.  Instead of letting them rot in the marina or the impound lot, or being controversially used by friends of government bigwigs, putting them to good use through this program would be of greater benefit to the people.  I am assuming that's what they thought of, and not coming up with some bogus budget of acquiring vehicles and engines for the students to work on.  Plus, there are so many broken down, poorly maintained government vehicles, I see no reason for the government to pretend that there's a need to purchase additional vehicles or engines.  But knowing how this government works, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Going back to the program, sure there were options like business, management, social sciences and math, but these were subjects a student could tackle in college.  For me, bonding with your child under the hood of your family car is an experience that can't be replaced by discussing balance sheets, theorems and theoretical social behavior.  Besides, hiring the services of mechanic isn't getting cheap.  Might as well take advantage of the skills of someone you can bribe through potato chips and soda.

And yes, I'm glad junior's a petrolhead.  I'll leave the mom to continue where I left off regarding 'THAT' conversation.

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