There is a job boom in Alberta, Canada. This isn't a secret and it's mainly in a single area, energy. It seems a lot of people are dropping out of school in order to get a high-paying job, I have no problem with this. I am a high school drop-out who, in fact, took grade ten three times, three times. Admittedly, I was there for the social aspect of it by the time I entered into grade 9, and even before. I had forsaken higher learning for friends, music and drugs. I wish I could say I had a good time of it but, honestly, that's not the truth. What happened was that I got into an abusive relationship which deadened my drive to be and thrust upon me a sense of inferiority that I still struggle with to this day. Even now as I type this I am constantly hitting backspace to replavce the letter "i" with the word "I." It's a constant battle.
The happenings during these years taught me many, many things.
Now, in Alberta, Robert Klein, Premier, was hosting a conference concerning how to stop children from dropping out of high school for relatively high paying jobs. This is when the Premier began convalescing about his own youth, saying that one of his biggest regrets was how he dropped out of high school to join the military. He's the premier of Alberta, an educated celebrity. I'm not sure that he got his point across as he wanted to.
I'm not sure where this headspace (school is the key to a bright future) comes from but it is misguided. When someone is in a job, even a monotonous one, they are learning through living, they have some kind of hobby, something they do in their free time. Through these things they are learning about the world, or at least a small bit of it. The key, I think, to learning while doing what you enjoy is to push yourself past what is presented to you, remain active in your sphere and work. Play as work, it's not something most people want to hear about.
The mentality that makes an individual remain in the same place, doing the same things, and stagnate, is bred into people within the school system. All the way up to the end of high school, students have teachers who direct and control the curriculum with, normally, little or no input from the students. It's not until college and university that they are given the freedom to choose what it is they're studying and how they study it.