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Governments and Their Control over Education

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Sept. 13th, 2005

History is taught to students all around the world, but no matter where people learn it from it is always somewhat different. Societies will always view history from their own perspectives. The reason is obvious. People want to know how they came to be here and consequently learn more about their origins. This is why when mandatory history is taught it is always national history; because the governments can focus in on the main events from their own views and in many cases portray themselves as heroes.

In a way I'd have to say I agree with this. I love being Canadian, after all, but then I think to myself, "But what if I'm the one who's been brainwashed all this time?" Over the years I've learnt about the many different ways in which Canada has participated in wars and how Canada was created. This, however, is all taught to me by a government funded education system. Everything taught to us is what the government wants us to learn. In fact, here in Quebec you must learn "History of Quebec and Canada," to get into CEGEP. This is, of course, to learn about the wonderful French colonists who discovered this land and shaped our home, Quebec. Well throughout the year my teacher forgot to mention the part where we gave the Native Americans little boxes filled with blankets and clothes taken off disease-ridden corpses and told them these were 'gifts'. Nor did I hear much about how we stole this land from the Native Americans. And even though my father told me these things my History teachers did not. It wasn't an obligatory part of the course. I don't blame my teachers; it's how the Quebec government wants it. It's how every government wants it. Governments don't want people seeing the horrible things they have done. Just like in Germany I'm sure the teachings of the holocaust are much different from what we learn here. Although I don't see how an event like that can be taught to be less harsh unless it's not taught at all.

Personally I have a very strong patriotic stand for my country. I love Canada and I wouldn't want to ever live in another country. But why do I love Canada? I can't even think of any reasons off the top of my head. And so I'm forced to wonder, do I really love Canada of my own free accord or has this patriotic sense been implanted into my unconscious since childbirth? It's a lot to think about. Maybe it's not even the Canadian government that has put these thoughts into my head. I grew up in Quebec, after all. Wouldn't that mean I'd be more likely to see Quebec as a sovereign nation? Perhaps it was my own parents who planted these seeds in my mind. My family and friends whom I've known

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