For­mer engi­neer run­ning for CBE

There are 12 can­di­dates in wards 5 and 10

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY NEWS - Lu­cie ed­ward­son Metro | cal­gary

A for­mer engi­neer is run­ning for Cal­gary Board of Ed­u­ca­tion trustee­ship in wards 5 and 10 with the hope of proac­tively help­ing Cal­gary youth achieve their goals.

Jas­bir Cha­hal, who’s now re­tired, said he be­lieves be­ing a trustee is one of the best ways to help his ward’s youth and im­pact their fu­tures in a pos­i­tive way.

“Trustees are tasked with mak­ing sure the right kind of ed­u­ca­tion is given to our fu­ture, which is the best way to make sure that you are do­ing what you want to do in life,” he said.

Dur­ing his cam­paign, Cha­hal said he’s fo­cus­ing on math, trans­porta­tion and re­duc­ing dropout rates in the north­east.

“We know that chil­dren are per­form­ing poorly in math in the north­east,” he said. “We need a way to make math more in­ter­est­ing to stu­dents so that they fare much bet­ter than they are now.”

When it comes to trans­porta­tion, Cha­hal said a down­turn in the econ­omy and the de­ci­sion to move some kids onto public tran­sit has led to some par­ents who are un­able to cope.

“Our stu­dents have to walk 1.6 kilo­me­tres to 2.4 kilo­me­tres — some­times in ex­treme weather — to get to a bus stop, which is some­thing no par­ent wants to ex­pose their child to. There has to be an al­ter­nate ar­range­ment or more funds to be found.”

Cha­hal said in his com­mu­nity he’s also heard youth are hav­ing a hard time with bul­ly­ing, ha­rass­ment and po­ten­tial crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

This can make kids un­com­fort­able at school, or sway them to the wrong side — ul­ti­mately lead­ing to dropouts. “If we can help curb the crime rate then the drop-out rate will be au­to­mat­i­cally re­duced,” he said.

Cha­hal also started the Cal­gary Lit­er­ary So­cial As­so­ci­a­tion a few years back and said it’s helped him con­nect with youth in his wards. “Through lit­er­a­ture, we can send a mes­sage to our com­mu­ni­ties — it’s a really ef­fec­tive way. The pen is stronger than the bul­let.”

Cha­hal said he’s to­tally self­fund­ing his cam­paign.

If we can curb the crime rate, the drop-out rate will be re­duced. Jas­bir cha­hal

Con­trib­uted/Jas­bir cha­hal

Jas cha­hal is run­ning against 11 oth­ers in Wards 5 and 10.

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