Band-aid approach won't work Federation tells Legislative Committee
Post-secondary educators urge system-wide funding to fix problems created by years of neglect
The Select Standing Committee on Education, which is holding public hearings on the issue of adult literacy, including specific strategies to improve outcomes for aboriginal and English-as-a-second-language (ESL) adults, heard that "band-aid" measures are not the way to improve literacy and ESL programs.
"The entire public post-secondary system has been suffering from chronic under-funding, deregulated tuition fees, and significant erosion of student support and counseling services," said Dileep Athaide, Secretary-Treasurer of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators. "Those changes have undermined access and affordability within the post-secondary system, a move that threatens every institution's ability to meet its basic mandate of serving its local community," Athaide added.
"While we are glad to see the provincial government is starting to re-think many of its policy decisions of the last five years, the government needs to address some of the urgent, system-wide problems that have been created. Too narrow a focus on single-program changes will not address the larger needs that our institutions face every day in trying to improve access for adult learners," Athaide noted.
Athaide tabled two FPSE documents with the Committee and urged members to incorporate the recommendations in those documents into the Committee's final report to government. The two documents were "Opening Doors and Building Confidence: Proposals to Strengthen Adult Basic Education (ABE) in British Columbia" and "A Path Out Of Poverty". The ABE document was prepared by FPSE's Education Policy Committee and has been presented to the Ministers of Education, Advanced Education and Employment and Income Assistance. The second document, "A Path Out Of Poverty", was prepared for FPSE by Shauna Butterwick, a professor at UBC's Faculty of Education.
For the full text of FPSE's presentation to the Committee as well as the eight recommended policy changes, click here.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.