VICTORIA (September 11, 2017) — Today, the Province of British Columbia announced the details of their budget update, which included the elimination of tuition fees for adult basic education and English language training. These programs are vital tools to help lift people out of poverty and serve as a good step forward for improving access to education in British Columbia.
“This is exactly the kind of programming the government should be expanding access to,” said Noah Berson, vice-president external at the Capilano Students’ Union. “The decision by the previous government to charge for these programs was indefensible and we are glad to see this mistake corrected.”
Adult basic education and English language training are key tools for recent immigrants and those who, for whatever reason, were unable to graduate high school to be able to put themselves on a path to success.
“Many of those enrolled in these programs are working service sector jobs for minimum wage and can’t afford the cost and risk that comes with attempting to complete their high school education,” said Caitlin McCutchen, chair of the Alliance of BC Students, a student lobbying organization of which the CSU is a member. “We are happy to see that the this government has listened and we look forward to continuing what has been a very rewarding relationship.”
Other budget changes of interest to students include an increase in capital spending for post-secondary institutions to expand academic buildings, an increase to the carbon tax to help combat climate change, increased funding for 1,700 new affordable rental units, and expanded enforcement of residential tenancy rights.
Noah Berson, vice-president external
Capilano Students’ Union