Which high school courses should be required for all Canadian students?

Courses that are currently mandatory in high school are there to give students the necessary knowledge to function properly in society. Even if the student were to graduate with the minimum passing grades, they would still carry some of this basic knowledge that can be utilized in everyday life. English is mandatory because reading and writing are a part of daily life. Math is mandatory because numbers are everywhere: the cost of food, clothing and living, and filling out income tax forms, for example. However, there is one class that holds the same importance, but is not yet mandatory: Canadian Law.

Just like math and English, learning about Canadian law holds great value in our society. As Canadians, we all have rules and responsibilities that we must follow. Participating in a law course would better one’s understanding of what is required to participate in society by outlining the rules or laws that they must follow. Canadian laws are strongly reflective of our society’s values and morals, but a person cannot just get by on what they consider to be right and wrong. There are many laws that someone may not know or agree with, but are still required to be followed.

Another important reason to make Law a mandatory subject in schools is that a person needs to know how to evoke change where and when they feel it is necessary. Politicians in government are representatives of groups and individuals and ultimately make our decisions for us based on what the majority wants. However, if one were to strongly disagree with governmental decisions, they may have difficulty in understanding the appropriate steps to take in order to make changes. If citizens of this country did not challenge the government in decision making policies, then we would always be governed by what they think the majority wants and not necessarily what it needs.

The key reason for Canadian law to become mandatory in schools is for its citizens to know their own rights and the rights of others. Without knowing our fundamental rights, given to us by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, one may not know when those rights are being infringed upon or when we may be infringing on the rights of others. Ignorance of these rights and the law are not an excuse for breaking them. It is also important to note that these rights are not guaranteed. Our rights and freedoms are subject to limitations by the government and one would need to know what these are and how to go about rectifying unreasonable limitations. Without taking a law course, one could be taken advantage of and not even know it.

Just like the courses of math and English, enrolling in a law course is equally as important to be able to function in society. It is necessary to learn about Canadian law because it aids us in understanding who we are as Canadians. Laws are the rules that govern our society and prevent chaos and anarchy if more people knew about them then we may be able to make a more peaceful world.