VANCOUVER, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - "For a province that celebrates its
diversity, the loss of $20 million in funding for English as a Second
Language (ESL) programs is not only wrong-headed, it's going to hurt
the thousands of new Canadians who rely on ESL programs to help them
succeed.," said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of
Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE), a provincial organization representing
over 10,000 unionized faculty and staff at BC's post-secondary
institutions. Oliver made the comments at a press briefing where she
and representatives from the Vancouver Community College Faculty
Association (VCCFA) and the Canadian Federation of Students-BC (CFS-BC) announced plans to launch a provincial campaign to save ESL programs
at BC's post-secondary institutions.
"The federal government's funding of ESL is critical to students in
every campus in our province," said Katie Marocchi, CFS-BC
Chairperson. "We are joining forces with faculty on this issue because
the loss of that funding will be a major setback for BC students and
the province as a whole," Marocchi added.
"Faculty and administrators here at VCC are working hard to ensure that
the proposed cuts in federal funding do not undermine impact VCC's long
history as one of the largest and most successful providers of ESL
programs in Western Canada," said Karen Shortt, President of VCCFA.
"We are confident this campaign will get the public on the same page as
our members and our students," Shortt noted.
"ESL programs are critical to the success that students like me are
looking for," said Saeideh Ghassarifar, a medical doctor who is
enrolled at VCC after immigrating to Canada from Iran. Her language
training is part of her efforts to have her credential recognized in
Canada. "The loss of programs like the one I'm enrolled in will
completely de-rail plans that many of my fellow students have for
upgrading their skills. "I'm glad that faculty and students from all
over BC are speaking out to protect this important service. Ghassarifar
SOURCE: Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC
For further information:
Phillip Legg, FPSE, 604-788-2877