For some reason the Cons seem to like to attack students. While saying that the new parental contribution law will not affect that many students Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Martine Coulombe also says that it will save close to 1.6 million. Now using the estimate of 37 thousand debt when a student leaves school and assuming a 4 year course we are talking 9 250 per year now lets do that basic math in the extreme if parental contribution was to be 100% 1.6 million would actually affect approx. 173 students now with about 22450 post secondary students that would be almost 1% of the student population affected by this. Now change that to the fact that in all likelyhood most of these students would be only looking to their parents for 10% and that instead makes it closer to 10% of our student population that is affected by this decision.
Now it is unrealistic to expect that many parents would be forced to pay more then 10% of their child’s tuition but that is a significant amount in all reality. I, myself was caught in this trap when I was younger. My parents were expected to make a contribution to my post secondary education and it was not mathematically possible. They did not actually have the disposable income to actually put towards my education and due to this any idea of attempting post secondary education was disposed of before I even entered high school. Being faced with this proposition caused me to reduce the amount of effort I put into my school work in high school and therefore caused me to miss out on opportunities that if I were better prepared might have been available for me.
This is the problem. This announcement is not only affecting the students in university this year, it also affects those students who are looking at deciding which high school courses they are choosing as they prepare for graduating from high school. Students entering grade 9 are going to have to look at this message and look at their parent’s income and they are going to have to base their high school courses on the likelyhood of their parent’s being required and/or being able and/or being willing to make the necessary parental contribution. Students who make the assessment that their parents either can not or will not make this contribution will have to choose courses that will allow them to succeed after high school without a university degree instead of preparing themselves for a post secondary education and a preferred feild of employment.
This government is not only affecting those students in school this year but is also affecting those looking at the next four years of high school. Even if this program is removed after one year it is going to negatively affect 5 years of students because this decision is going to force students to make decisions that they should not be forced to make at this age.
We as a province needs to do better and this stance by the province is absolutely unacceptable. The Cons need to take a good solid look in the mirror and see if they are comfortable with the person looking back at them, because I know that if it was me I would be incredibly embarrassed at what I was doing to they young people in this province.