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Education

Check Out The Progress On Red Deer’s Newest Elementary School!

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(Centre front – Millie Campbell  Back row left to right – Julie Hansen, Jessica Hartel, TJ Hartel, Jan Ludwig, Jeff Ludwig)

Written by Sheldon Spackman / Photos and Video by Lindsay Wiebe

Construction on Red Deer’s newest elementary school is running on budget and ahead of schedule. That, according to Red Deer Public School District officials who say they will be able to take possession of the new building on May 2nd, well ahead of the first day of school in September.

It’s anticipated 350 students will be there on opening day, with initial capacity to be 500 and room to grow with the help of portables from there. The school on Irving Crescent in Inglewood will serve students from that neighbourhood and Ironstone as well, plus the Vanier/Vanier East neighbourhoods.

Jan Ludwig is the late Don Campbell’s eldest daughter and says her father would have been “Over the moon” if he were here to see the school. School Board Chair Bev Manning says Don Campbell Elementary will help alleviate crowding pressures currently being felt in other elementary schools. Principal Cam Pizzey says he known the Campbell family for decades and is honoured to be it’s first Principal.

District officials are proud of  the school’s amazing learning spaces, including 2 outdoor classrooms. A partnership with the City of Red Deer is also anticipated to provide space for community activities and events.

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Community

Looking for a Resilient Career for the Future? Keep an Eye Out for the Lighthouse

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Lighthouse Labs

If we consider that the future of work will include a multitude of digital practices, it is up to us as employees and employers to embrace this shift with readiness and education. More familiar than not, the skills we learn through our years in education are a base, from which we hope to secure a position that falls in the same realm as our studies. The challenge is that even with curriculum updates and youth programs, the study of ever-changing digital education continues to be a challenge for both teachers and students.

We as a society are moving into a gig-heavy economy, with individuals packing more onto their certification rosters in the hopes of diversifying their resume’s. For those who may want to keep the pace over the next decade, two key categories within education shine through – data science and web development. 

The importance of these skills may seem only attributable to certain industries, however, if we consider the more intensive labour positions, how data is perceived and understood is immensely important. If you are a mid-career worker, someone looking to renew their digital education or one to pursue alternative career paths that carry real promise, these skills may prove to be some of the most sought after in the near future. 

To no surprise that the end of year report by Payscale shows the two “hottest jobs” fall in the data category, reflected by the “The Future of Jobs Report 2020” by the World Economic Forum. This report shows a progressive estimate for skills that will be in demand up to 2025 and beyond. 

 

Source: Future of Jobs Survey 2020, World Economic Forum, Fig. 18, p27

This is all great knowledge to have on hand, but where can similar skills be learnt without investing in a multi-year university degree? 

One Canadian company has tangible options.

 

Lighthouse Labs

Lighthouse Labs is a Canadian company founded in 2013 by its CEO Jeremy Shaki. They specialize in educational programs and boot camps in the fields of web development and data science. Their team has created intuitive learning programs attainable for all walks of life who carry a ‘growth mindset’ into their personal development. 

They offer full-time and part-time courses for their multiple bootcamps, with available mentorship from experienced professionals in both fields. The results from their 2019 Student Outcomes Report available on their website. A year from January 2019, 504 students enrolled in their bootcamps, 458 graduated and 324 gained employment post bootcamp.  Out of the 329 graduates who completed a job-seeking cycle within 180 days post-bootcamp, 95% of that group accepted employment. These numbers are incredible in comparison to the investment required for a new career avenue in 2021.

In March of 2020, we experienced a mass transition to digital communications in our daily and work lives due to the pandemic. For some, the integration of conference calls, internal team applications and a pressing focus on data was simple to grasp, but not for all. 

In light of some of these challenges, Lighthouse Labs has implemented and collaborated with multiple organizations to offer “Impact Initiatives”. Created to offer hyper-focused ways of educating groups of Canadians to enhance their digital literacy.

In collaboration with Kids Code Jeunesse, a non-profit organization focused on digitally-focused educational programs for youth, with funding from the Government of Canada created the Code Create Teach initiative. This partnership had 2,703 teachers experience a one-day introductory workshop on coding and computational thinking. The objective was to offer teachers additional tools they can bring into their classrooms to enhance their student’s grasp of digital technologies.

There are multiple ongoing initiatives with Lighthouse Labs and other organizations that are available to view on their website. Another that stood out is the “Accelerating Possibilities Project” in partnership with Woodgreen Community Services. Created to offer mid-career workers an opportunity to learn new skills in web development, data science and customer service. Now more than ever, these types of initiatives have the opportunity to benefit the lives of countless Canadians. 

As noted in various media outlets over recent years, there is an outcry for traditional industry workers to keep pace with the digital revolution with training and support. This is one opportunity where Lighthouse Labs and other educational programs can offer a real avenue to a new career. 

It should be noted that parallel to the closing of office spaces, restrictions on multi-person worksites and the mass layoffs in some of the more traditional industries, these skills offer the opportunity to both begin a new career path with an educated support system, and to re-evaluate what new skills could bring more value to your current position and your company’s future.

Scholarship Funding

Lighthouse Labs has a strong sense of supporting their community and has recently announced a new scholarship fund in response to the difficult economic and societal conditions our country has faced due to the pandemic. After a high interest in their March 2020 scholarship round, they announced another $500,000 scholarship fund for those in need. You may be eligible for up to $5,000 in support for a full-time bootcamp and $750 for part-time programs if you’ve been laid off, had your hours reduced, or are out of school because of the pandemic. For interested individuals, download their financial guide for more information. 

If you would like to learn more about Lighthouse Labs, their support for our communities and the various boot camps they offer, check out their website. All of their material has been digitized and has opened up their reach to anywhere in Canada, check out their blog to learn more about their platform for online tech education. Their team has created a wide variety of reading material to help interested parties learn more prior to an application. These skills are here to stay, the more we integrate with data and web development, the more employers will be headhunting for the right candidate – which truly could be you.

 

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary

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Agriculture

What’s going on in India?

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In many places around the world, the global turmoil of 2020 has been deeply exacerbated by accompanying political violence. The United States, Belarus, and India are just a few locations that have faced growing levels of internal violence and discord as political protests have led to dangerous clashes between citizens and governing bodies. 

In India, where the COVID-19 pandemic has been rampant throughout the course of 2020, citizens have also experienced ongoing political uncertainty as recent protests against the Narendra Modi government have been met with violence. 

Prime Minister Narenda Modi

The upheaval began in August in response to the Modi government’s decision to pass 3 reform laws that would negatively impact local farmers in India’s agricultural sector. The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, the Farmers Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and the Essential Commodities Bill were passed on September 20, 2020. These laws, which were allegedly hurried through parliament with little to no regard for the concerns expressed by existing farming organizations in India, serve to ease corporate restrictions and remove regulations put in place to protect farmers and their product. 

Although there does appear to be a consensus surrounding the need for reform in India’s agricultural sector, the laws passed by the Modi government have been condemned for failing to meet the requirements of a fair, legitimate transition. According to Time, “While the government says the new laws will “empower farmers”, unions say the rule changes are not policies they have asked for. Instead they fear that instead of trying to help farmers, the government is opening the door to big corporations who may eventually force them off their land and out of their business.” 

Peaceful protests then emerged as a public response to the actions of the Modi government. The protests, which originated in Punjab and Haryana as a collaborative movement among Indian farmers, have since mobilized tens of thousands of farmers and supporters from across the country to march on the Indian capital. The protestors flooded New Delhi’s main entry points, where they have since set up camps to maintain their position and stand firmly for their cause, requesting the repeal of the 3 reform bills. 

Despite the peaceful nature of the protests, where many of the participants are senior members of the community, since September they have been increasingly met with violence from the state. “Protestors have been met with water cannons on some of the coldest winter days Delhi has experienced,” Global News reported in December, “along with tear gas, concrete barricades, and some were even beaten with batons.” As a result of state-mandated violence and harsh outdoor conditions in Delhi, a total of 65 deaths were reported between November 26, 2020 and January 3, 2021 (1).
Individuals and organizations around the world have since come forward to stand in solidarity with Indian farmers and condemn the acts of violence being perpetrated against them by military and law enforcement. 

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the Indian Supreme Court announced it was “halting the market-friendly laws until a committee of experts, appointed by the court, could consult with government officials and protesting farmers to try to find a solution to the dispute” (2). However, protestors have expressed initial skepticism following this announcement, and intend to maintain their positions within the protest camps until the laws are repealed. 

“It’s cold and it’s hard to arrange water every morning for a bath,” says Shabek Singh, a member of the protests who remains camped in one of the established tent cities, “but we’re not going anywhere. We will make this our temple” (3).

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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