Federal NDP shares its plans for Adult Education

On September 8 a network of adult educators and researchers sent each political party a list of questions about their adult literacy and adult education policy. Today the network received this response from the NDP.  Among their policy intentions are:

Support for core funding for literacy programs;

Respect for the constitutional rights to literacy and language services in minority language communities;

The integration of literacy and essential skills education in Labour Market Agreements (the current Canada Jobs Grant excludes people with low literacy skills and the unemployed); and,

The re-direction of EI funds to support the education and training of people experiencing unemployment. Responses from the CPC, Greens and LPC will be shared on this blog as and when the network receives them.

CDEAF – EN – 091815


ABE Tuition Hurts Working Poor

The working poor will be penalized as they strive for a basic education. See, Vancouver Community College’s Faculty Association, President, Karen Shortt’s letter in the Vancouver Sun.
“…as the new school semester starts, thousands of B.C.’s working poor will be hit hard with tuition fees in excess of $500 per month for basic adult literacy…. And this is taking place in a province that boasts a budget surplus of over $400 million.”
Student survey results show that over 70% of students in Basic Education at VCC juggle paid work with going to school. This figure is even greater when unpaid work (e.g., childcare and eldercare) is factored in.
Student Survey on Working and Going to School, October 2014

BC ABE Tuition Fee Policy and Adult Upgrading Grants Promote “Cream-Skimming”

By allowing pubic post-secondary institutions to charge tuition fees for Adult Basic Education, the BC government is rendering Adult Upgrading Grant funding ineffectual for most ABE students. Students who can get graduated the fastest will benefit from funding. The effect is “cream-skimming”. Students who face multiple barriers to education, need more time to complete a basic education, and need it most will not get served.

Tyee article on ABE cuts

This article appeared today in The Tyee, written by Katie Hyslop. It outlines the devils in the details regarding the cuts to ABE, noting that students enrolled in school district ABE are not eligible for the Adult Upgrading Grant, and that the $9 million the Ministry of Education will save in not funding ABE will be re-invested in the K – 12 system.

The article focus on the consequences of this policy for a person with health difficulties who experienced interrupted schooling. Do you have stories of how learners and local communities will be effected by the cuts to ABE? Please post in the comments section or let us know and we can post the story for you.

Obama to propose tuition-free post-secondary education

President Obama is about to propose a bold new policy to make the first two years of post secondary education in the country’s community colleges tuition- free. The criteria is that students progress in their studies, attend at least half-time and maintain a 2.5 grade point average. The policy is introduced in recognition of the role of post-secondary education in promoting social and income equality,  and in drawing in thousands of people who would not have considered pursuing further education. While the state college system in the US offers grants to low income learners, these have not been successful to attract low and lower middle income adults into colleges because of the many other costs associated with education. Premier Wynne in Ontario has reportedly offered a ‘luke warm‘ response to the idea of tuition-free post secondary education, because she said it may have the effect to limit access as ‘subsidies will not be available to everyone’. But Obama wants to make post secondary education free to everyone and as accessible as a high school diploma.

BC wants to be an innovative centre of education…

Patti Bacchus, former Chair of the Vancouver Board of Education and a progressive voice for adult education and public education in general, tweeted news of this upcoming education forum and provincial road show led by Peter Fassbender. As Patti notes, the 5 international and esteemed educators leading the forum are all men, and located within paradigms of measurement, the ‘science’ of learning, and that ambiguous term ‘innovation’. The Ministry wants to stake out BC as a world leader in education and in preparing children “for jobs that don’t exist yet.” And apparently new announcements are coming soon of what this innovative new system will look like. Are adults who seek academic upgrading and new skills in this new economy part of the plan?