The debate over high school credit for military training

Some Regina secondary school students are now taking military training for credit-- and that has peace activists up in arms. We hear from one of those activists, and from Saskatchewan's military liaison.
Madison Holowachuk, 16, is a Grade 11 student in Regina. She is one of the first 10 participants in a new program involving military training for high school credit. (CBC)

Earlier this month, 10 Regina high school students became the first group to enrol in the Canadian Army Primary Reserve Co-op Program. In exchange for basic military training, the students will receive two high school credits -- and will each be paid about $2000.

But the start of the program sparked a protest and petition by peace activists. Shortly after it launched, Florence Stratton -- a member of Making Peace Vigil and PeaceQuest Regina -- took to the Saskatchewan legislature, to sing "I ain't going to study war no more" and to present a petition to end the military program for high school students.

I don't think our schools should be endorsing war. Rather, they should be encouraging students to resolve conflict non-violently.- Florence Stratton, peace activist

But Yogi Huyghebaert says high school is exactly the place to experience the military. He's the Saskatchewan Party MLA for Wood River and the government's military liaison. He's also a retired Lieutenant-Colonel with the Royal Canadian Air Force and says students gain leadership skills, discipline and the ability to work together from military training. 

We're not militarizing schools because it's a volunteer program and the same students can join the Reserves outside of school, only now they're getting a credit towards high school.- Yogi Huyghebaert, Saskatchewan MLA and government military liaison


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