in the media, faculty

Education professors pen editorial on adult education funding cuts

March 06, 2015

Suzanne Smythe, Faculty of Education assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, and Shauna Butterwick, an educational studies professor at UBC, wrote an op-ed for The Province arguing that BC's decision to no longer provide free basic education to adults will have serious negative consequences for the province.

Smythe and Butterwick argue that adult basic education is essential for helping individuals develop skills needed to access PSE. They suggest that the introduction of fees will make it difficult for persons from low-income backgrounds to enter PSE programs.

Aboriginal learners particularly hard, as many Aboriginal communities are served by school districts that do not offer basic education, and many Aboriginal learners are unable to access online education. Smythe and Butterwick further argue that many students who can't afford to pay tuition for adult basic education will not qualify for grants that are available to help cover costs.

"If the government is serious about better aligning 'skills for jobs' in the province," they conclude, "it must start by making basic education tuition-free for all British Columbians who want a better life."

Read the full article.