Before the recess, Mr. Chairman, I tried to indicate, although we do need technical and vocational training, what this program most needs. First of all we require to put these things in an order of priority. I tried to indicate that there has been no sensible, rational, planned order of priority whatsoever; that we are putting the money in the wrong place and using it in the wrong way.
One of the areas in which I think it is most unfortunate the way this program is being carried out is that of trained teachers. Surely the whole thing depends upon the kind of trained teachers we have. This is a tremendous problem, because when you have a poorly trained working force or a less skilled working force you have even fewer people from which to draw for the jobs which require skills. This, again, was put
very well by Mr. Bridge in the speech included in the document to which I referred this afternoon. He says:
There is an urgent requirement for the development of vocational teacher training programs in Canada to provide both basic and advanced professional training for the growing numbers of teachers who will be required.
In this respect I would comment that surely this was one of the first things that should have been done. Once the needs have been determined, once the courses and the whole program had been determined we could have begun to train the teachers, and then perhaps we could have begun to put up the buildings. At the present time there is a serious shortage of adequately trained instructional staff; that is, before this program was even started there was a shortage, and with the building of additional facilities this shortage will become more serious. An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 additional, trained technical and vocational teachers will be required during the next ten year period. I can assure the committee that certainly they will need more than 1,000 or 1,500 now, with the number of buildings that have been put up during the last few months. I continue reading from this speech by Mr. Bridge.
The programs for training vocational teachers in Canada have never been well developed. The need does not justify a college for training vocational teachers in each province but there is ample need for at least four such training centres, one for the four western provinces, one in Ontario, one in Quebec, and one in the Atlantic provinces.
How much of this tremendous amount of money which we are putting aside for vocational education has been assigned to the training of people to put this program into effect? I would suggest it is a very, very minimal amount, and this has caused a tremendous amount of chaos and disruption in the teacher training programs in each of the provinces. This was not adequately prepared for, and these are the problems you get when you try to put crash programs into too many educational media. Mr. Bridge continues:
Provision should be made for these vocational teachers to advance to degree level in vocational education if they so desire.
There is also a shortage of supervisors and administrators for these programs.
In Bill No. C-49, which I am sure all hon. members have read, there is provision for the dominion government to pay half of the cost of training those who are going to be teachers, administrators and supervisors in this whole program. But there again we are doing the thing backwards; we have not laid enough emphasis on this area, and instead we have been subsidizing, virtually, the educational program in Ontario to a large extent. Mr. Bridge continues:
These persons usually come through the ranks of the vocational teaching staff but they require training which will prepare them for the responsibilities of directing programs and improving the standards of instruction.
The last thing I would like to say is that we have had no proper national approach to this problem. I say this with all humility, because this is a tremendous problem; it is a tremendously complex and complicated problem, but that does not mean we should throw up our hands and simply distribute money and let somebody else handle the problem who is in a far worse position to deal with it. I refer to the local municipal school boards. I say that in many cases we have disrupted the whole educational approach. There has been over the years, especially in my own province, a decision which means that people in the outlying areas who need vocational training shall be brought into the larger cities.
Hon. members who come from rural areas will say, "Good heavens; surely people who live in rural areas have the same right to vocational training as those who live in the urban areas". Certainly they do; but we cannot always give the best vocational training by putting up a school at their back door. The best way may very well be to bring those people by bus or various methods of transportation into an area where they can get a far greater diversity and higher level of training than if they simply put a school into a rural area.