Without opportunities to access a basic education, many adult learners in BC will not have the literacy, numeracy or computer skills needed for employment training, nor will they be able to access trades and other post-secondary learning.
The new funding rules coming from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Advanced Education have created different sets of rules for adult learners at school boards and at community colleges and other post-secondary institutions.
If you already have a high school diploma, you must now pay for any upgrading or courses you find yourself needing.
If you don’t have a high school diploma, your courses are free at school boards, but you must pay at colleges or other post-secondary institutions. These differences in funding create problems of access for adult learners.
Many communities in BC don’t have school board courses for adults, and adult learners in other jurisdictions, who would ordinarily access literacy, numeracy and the full range of levels of basic education courses at community colleges in urban centres – and at other public post-secondary locations in remote communities, must pay steep tuition fees to learn to read, write and do math.
The current situation has created confusion for adult learners who now must navigate a more complex, costly and uncertain basic education.
The BC Education Guarantee has been lost in the current scenario.
Furthermore, different rules for different populations render the government mandate to provide for adult basic education unworkable and unaffordable.
Above all, the basic right to a basic education is denied: there is no longer a second chance for adult learners, and government is pulling away from its duty to provide for the full range of public adult basic education programming in BC, from fundamental levels to graduation.