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Some students could be shut out by adult education changes

Last Updated Sep 10, 2015 at 7:03 pm PDT

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Increase in course costs could exclude some adult students

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) Teachers and students say changes to adult education funding mean fewer people in BC will be able to pull themselves out of poverty. Secondary school classes aren’t free anymore and tuition fees are keeping would-be students out of the system.

This affects people who have high school diplomas, but need more prerequisites to get into post-secondary programs. They now have to pay $500 per course or $1,600 per semester.

Head of the BC Teachers Federation Jim Iker says fewer people are enrolling now, so much so that the Surrey School District has cancelled all of its graduated adult courses. “These adult education cuts are taking opportunities away from those who need it the most. Immigrants, Aboriginal members of our community and those who are struggling to find good jobs to support their families.”

John Corsiglia survived serious illness during his grade 12 year and needed the free courses to catch up. “We’re there because we have to do these things to go on in life and our instructors aware of that. I’ve never seen them once not take into account how important this step in any of us as students’ journey through life it is.”

The BCTF, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, Vancouver Community College and students are calling on the province to make these classes free again.