250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 4:08 pm

Tuition Scrapped for Adult Basic Education & ESL Programs

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 @ 9:27 AM

Victoria, B.C. – The NDP followed through on an election promise it made last spring to do away with tuition fees on Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning programs this morning.

Premier John Horgan said it will “make access to education easier and give everyone a chance to get ahead.”

“It’s our view that education is a great equalizer in our society,” he said to cheers at Victoria’s Camosun College. “It’s an opportunity to open doors on awareness and self-actualization – finding your way in the world is easier when you have access to knowledge.”

The announcement reverses a move made by the BC Liberal government in 2015 to impose tuition fees for ABE and ELL learners.

The NDP said under that policy fees were set up by each institution up to a maximum of $1,600 per semester for full-time studies.

As a result, it says enrolment in the programs dropped almost 35 per cent from 10,244 full-time equivalent spaces in 2013-14 to 6,692 in 2016-17.

So, how much will the policy reversal cost the new government?

“We’ll be putting that in our budget update this September. That’ll be fully available for everyone to see. We made a commitment during the election campaign to make sure that adult basic education and English-language learning was accessible to as many people as possible, and we’re fulfilling that commitment today, and we’ll be outlining the costs of that in our September update,” said Horgan.


Thanks you NDP for pulling another stake out of the heart of our society . What a shameful thing it was, that damaged so many people in its wake , thanks to the heartless so called liberals .

Hi, so does this mean it will be “free” to take part in grade 11 and 12 upgrade type courses at the college this year?

    yes so make the most of it do not squander it away

Premier John Horgan said it will make “make access to education easier and give everyone a chance to get ahead.”

Most of them had the chance and didn’t take it so now the rest of us have to pay to give them another chance? Let’s meet in the middle and split the cost 50 / 50.

    I guess the logic is the first time they were stupid teenagers unable to appreciate the consequences of their actions – which is well documented – now they’re adults trying to improve themselves and understand the value of education.

    I had a similar hand up decades ago under the then Social Credit Government. Their investment in me was about $20,000 at the time, and their return on investment has been about $500,000 in federal taxes, $250,000 in provincial taxes, and I still got at least a decade to go paying taxes.

    Now, they could have just left me there, and likely I would have ended up being a net consumer of taxes, rather than a contributor.

    So on this one, I agree with the NDP.

      I had to go back to complete my gr 12 and some class upgrades as an adult learner. The main reason why I didn’t finish grade 12 in high school is because I had no idea what I wanted to do in life.
      I ended up working full time while doing the courses at night & weekends to get my GED. I got more done in 3 months through the adult education program than I did in 4 years of high school while at the same time getting an idea of what I wanted to work towards.
      There were a lot of people in my cohort in my adult classes who had it worse off than me. I could have afforded to pay it at the time if I really had to, however looking back now I would probably have not taken the initiative if there was a fee attached to it. Basically to wrap this up, there should not be a fee attached to basic K-12 education because its a barrier to entry and as well a lot of people are still “dabbling” in their education, skills and abilities.

      So in ~30 years you have made about 3.75 million dollars? All because we invested in your high school diploma? Colour me impressed!

      Adult Dogwood was always tuition free as long as you were a resident of BC and completed the course. It was other ABE courses that are not required for your Dogwood that had costs associated, or if you had graduated already and were upgrading. All the required education resource materials also were provided free with the course

      Axman, I wish I had an average tax rate of 20% – afraid it was a little higher than that. All the government did was enable me to move on to even higher levels of education – so no- grade 12 didn’t do that for me, it helped me to get on that path to a much better education.

      ski51:- “So on this one, I agree with the NDP.”

      Me, too. It’s a wise move.

      There are also students whose education is interrupted due to illness, family tragedy, need to go to work to support their family, drug abuse, and so forth. Some of these factors may be their fault, some are not at all.

      Hey Bill, Late 70’s and 80’s, manufacturing jobs were offering high wages for that time. Many left to go earn the big money because education was not important at that time! Now! those that are in their 50s + feel the need to get that GED ect. to just find work. That is not the tax payers responsibilty.

      food for thought

    It doesn’t matter what Horgan did it would always be wrong by your standard.

      I mean the axman..

      As a middle aged white guy, I lose no matter who’s in charge. It just that with some parties, I lose more.

    food for thought

lol, who do you people think pays for it if the student isn’t going to?

    Who do you think pays the price of an undereducated population ? We all do . That’s why we call our society , civil .

      Oh, I’m pretty sure it was the ‘educated’ behind the economic collapse of 2008, and not the uneducated. This town was built by the working class, I bet less than 5% had any sort of a degree in the mid 60’s when the mill’s ramped up and PG started to take off.

      I guess if you want to brag about how a piece of paper makes a man educated, you win.

    if i had to do it all over again i would have a higher level of education.

Many of these kids in high school ,grades 11 and 12, just waste a lot time , minimal effort in classes, 50 per centers and their education was free, paid by the taxpayers. In college they should pay for their classes, makes them more responsible and work harder, 70% to pass not 50%. Just show one how useless the dogwood paperwork is worth at graduation………….

“Horgan did not have a cost estimate for the move, telling reporters at Camosun College in Victoria that those numbers would be available next month.”

Shake that money tree! You’d hope someone would do a cost analysis before making the change.

    So you think a cost analysis can be done before any applicants have had a chance to take advantage of this change ? Thankfully John doesn’t jump to conclusions like some seem too . That would be pretend costs at best .

      “As a result, it says enrolment in the programs dropped almost 35 per cent from 10,244 full-time equivalent spaces in 2013-14 to 6,692 in 2016-17.”

      You have 10,244 FTE’s to do an analysis on. Is there a better system is what I want to know. How many of those 10,244 benefited from the free program?

      Ataloss, re your comment: Thankfully John doesn’t jump to conclusions like some see too.”

      So, I take it that you missed John’s recent jumping to conclusions this past week with both his and Bruce Ralston’s jumped to conclusions with their absolutely outrageous and untrue comments about Gordon Wilson and the work that Wilson did as our LNG advocate!

      Obviously your Tyee and HuffPost won’t pay much attention to this, but perhaps you should expand your news sources!

      I hope that Wilson takes them both to Court!

      Horgan doesn’t jump to conclusions? Haha, thanks for the laugh!

    We have another winner, The Budget Will Balance Itself. Remember that little intelligent ditty during the federal election.

    Hey axman when are you going to work. you must be scamming some one to be able to spend all day on this site.

      Go to work and miss your witty banter? Heaven forbid!

      Retired 02, how are you doing down there in Abby these days?

      What with all of the shootings, the home invasions, the serious crash on the Fraser Hwy at Ross Road, the smoke, the smog, the stench of manure on these hot summer days, I suspect that things are not so rosy in your little world!

      That might explain your “grumpiness” today, haha! ;-)


Thanks John. Nice to see someone act on this so soon and keep a promise. Christy most likely would have done all these things in the future anyway according to her throne speech.

    i can sell you the yellowhead bridge if you want to buy it

The basic courses to obtain your GED have always been free as far as I’m aware.

Lots of people have great intentions to upgrade or better themselves but then something comes and they drop out. If you’ve got nothing invested who cares if you decide to just stop going or working on it. I’d rather have a system where if you complete the course your money is refunded or some way to ensure that without a good reason the cost of the courses is appreciated and not wasted.

Well, if you want to be upset about something, the illegal immigrants who crossed the border at Quebec will be sending their children to school on our dime until their cases are dealt with because – I assume – their children have a constitutional right to an education even though they jumped the cue and came here illegally. Is it really such a hardship to help out adult Canadian citizens who made mistakes as youths, when we have an abundance of cash to help out people who forced their way in.
ht tp://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/montreal-schools-asylum-seekers-1.4238344

Just vote buying from the new class of immigrants. Oh well same oh same oh every government votes buys one way or the other.

Hey Trump is also keeping his election promises despite seditious opposition from the swamp and media.

Having a grade 12 is often a requirement for getting a job. Allowing people to afford their grade 12 will help them get off government assistance. This saves tax payers money but the savings can’t be predicted

    ABE Adult Dogwood (grade 12) has always been free including resource materials, these are ABE after graduation or not required for graduation and ESL courses

Comments for this article are closed.