As instruments for advancing democratic values, Canada’s public schools have an ambiguous legacy. Over the years, many exclusionary and colonialist policies have been challenged, and this shift in cultural values has inspired policies to help make public schools in Canada more diverse and accessible.
It is less apparent, however, that public schools in Canada have come to grips with the historical impacts, and ongoing threats, of colonialism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Canada has no colonial history, but a more honest evaluation of the real situation would begin by acknowledging that “First Nations people in Canada continue to suffer from the onslaught of colonization.” ...Read more
Tags: Aboriginal Issues·colonialism·Education·post secondary education·Teach for Canada
This blog is the third in CCPA-NS’ series called “Progressive Voices on Public Education in Nova Scotia.”
The People’s Climate March showed an incredible level of solidarity across our planet and was a visible way to capture the news cycle and send a message to world leaders to act. But, climate change itself is not news. For those of us who are latecomers to the scene, Al Gore’s 2006 award-winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” should have alerted us. If that didn’t do it, surely the Fourth Report (2007) and the Fifth Report (2013) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would have. We can no longer hide from the extremely unpleasant fact that climate change is the most serious crisis humankind has ever faced. We must take action commensurate to the weight of this remarkable challenge. ...Read more
Tags: Climate Change·Education·Environment·Nova Scotia
It’s accepted wisdom that an undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma – it’s the ticket into the workforce.
But that ticket comes at an unrelentingly steep price: average tuition and fees in Ontario are the highest in the country, with no sign of abating.
While tuition fees are increasing all across Canada, Ontario’s have tripled — an increase way, way beyond the rate of inflation, as the following chart shows.
Ontario tuition and other fees are estimated at $8,474 this year and they’re expected to climb to $9,483 by 2017 – a 12 per cent increase, making Ontario consistently the most expensive place in Canada to try to get a ticket into the workforce. ...Read more
Tags: Education·Income Inequality·Ontario
In its July issue, The Economist placed on its front page a picture of a graduate cap turned into a bomb nearing explosion under the heading “Creative destruction: reinventing the university.” Repurposing Joseph Schumpeter’s well-known phrase, the magazine announced this time that university, that venerable institution, would undergo a true revolution because of rising costs, transformations in the labour market, and an important technological shift. ...Read more
The decision to accept an offer of admission to university is a pivotal one for students; an emotional experience of high hopes, idealistic expectations and trepidation. But it also marks the first step in a series of necessary and practical preparations for any journey; deciding the best path, weighing the benefits of leaving home or staying, finding a job to save money for the road ahead, and then navigating their provincial student aid system – an adventure all its own. But regrettably, the mechanics of the student aid adventure have largely remained a mystery, where students trying to assemble sufficient financial resources must often resort to leaps of faith in uncharted territory. ...Read more
Tags: post secondary education·student aid
There is something great about summer in Canada; it’s hot but also full of promise with places to visit, camping, travelling, cottaging, trips to the beach and various summer events and festivals.
For many of Canada’s students, however, summer has not been so great. New data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey released Friday shows that students are struggling to find summer jobs for the sixth year in a row. ...Read more
Tags: canada·Employment and Labour·Jobs·post secondary education·students
Did you hear about the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’s latest research stunt?
Just before Canada Day – a time when high school graduates are touring university campuses around the country – the CTF slapped a graduation cap and gown on their ubiquitous pig mascot and held a press conference denouncing ‘wacky’ student research projects that receive public funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Demonstrating significant intellectual stretch, a CTF intern and undergraduate student explained the organization’s position as follows: “SSHRC may be giving a few students free money for wacky research – [but] they’re actually burdening all Canadian students with higher taxes and millions added to federal government debt.” ...Read more
The Ontario election is nearing its end and by Thursday night we will know the makeup of the next provincial government.
In some ways, this election featured a lot of substantive debate and policy discussion. For instance, a lot of focus was placed on the relative merit and credibility of the party platforms (and costing of those platforms).
On the other hand, a lot of important issues didn’t get much air time. ...Read more
This blog is the second in CCPA-NS’ series called “Progressive Voices on Public Education in Nova Scotia.”
The Minister’s Panel on Education has challenged Nova Scotians to “get involved” and help “effect change in the education system.” Public schools are among our most important democratic institutions, so the call for public input is a welcome one. If the Minister’s panel really wants to effect positive change in Nova Scotia’s public schools, it’s worth paying serious attention to what is and isn’t working in other contexts. ...Read more
Tags: Education·Nova Scotia·Teachers·Youth
By Kayle Hatt and Erika Shaker
The Ontario election has been mostly focused on jobs and economic growth – and debating the credibility of PC Leader Tim Hudak’s proposal to cut the public service. However, Ontario also faces other problems worthy of attention, one of which is growing concern over the affordability of higher education.
Under Rae (NDP) and Harris/Eves (Progressive Conservative), tuition fees in Ontario rose from the early-1990s for the better part of a decade until they climbed to the second highest (on average) in all of Canada (second to Nova Scotia at the time). ...Read more
Tags: Education·Ontario·Ontario Election